Global Perspectives on Data Privacy

Track V at Doing Business Globally in Santa Clara today covered data privacy laws around the world. Baker & McKenzie partner Lothar Determann led the discussion, along with Baker & McKenzie partners  Ben Allgrove from London,  Carolina Pardo from Bogota, Raul Rubio from Madrid, Carlos Vela-Trevino from Mexico City, and Michaela Weigl from San Francisco.

Lothar photo

Baker & McKenzie partner Lothar Determann speaks during Track V at Doing Business Globally in Santa Clara on Monday.

Key highlights and takeaways of today’s discussion:

  • The new EU data protection regulation may or may not proceed soon. Companies should comply with current EU law, focus on other jurisdictions: such as Latin America, Asia Pacific.
  • Selling US IT products is harder after Snowden. Top 10 steps to consider include data center (access) location, company-specific FAQs and contract upgrades.
  • UK courts have started following Spanish court and EU Court of Justice on “right to be forgotten decision” and jurisdiction over US companies.
  • Latin American privacy laws focus on consent also in the employment context, whereas in most European jurisdictions, employee consent is considered coerced and disfavored. Therefore, companies have to develop regionally or nationally customized compliance strategies.

Learn more about Track V.

A Close Look at Codes of Conduct

In Track IV of Doing Business Globally in Santa Clara this afternoon, Baker & McKenzie Partner Cynthia Jackson and the panelists discussed global codes of conduct, touching on codes of ethics and hotlines, data privacy and supply chains.

Tips to take with you:

  • Whistleblowing is an international phenomenon. In 2013, the SEC reported that Dodd Frank whistleblowers came from all 50 states and 55 countries. Make sure your code of conduct is not overly U.S. centric by thinking through your company map and looking through the right lens. Find an expert in this field who knows what issues to spot.
  • Many companies want one single global code of conduct that covers all countries, which is possible if you do it right.
  • The implementation of the code is just as important as what’s written in it. A coordinated and cohesive roll out is key.
  • Ensure that you don’t include overly aggressive or untimely discipline. Be realistic so your employees know that you will follow through.

View the Full Agenda in Santa Clara.

DBG Kicks Off with Keynote by Lyndon Rive

Doing Business Globally kicked off in Santa Clara this morning with Baker & McKenzie Partner Matthew Gemello leading a question-and-answer session with Lyndon Rive, co-founder and CEO of SolarCity.

Lyndon and Matthew

Baker & McKenzie Partner Matthew Gemello, left, leads a Q&A with SolarCity CEO Lyndon Rive Monday.

Key highlights and takeaways of today’s discussion:

  • SolarCity serves customers in 15 states with more than 50 operations centers and 7,500 employees – making it the largest solar provider in the U.S.
  • SolarCity utilizes vertical integration for better control and the ability to invest in its own infrastructure. The company recently decided to vertically integrate further with its recent acquisition of solar panel manufacturer Silevo.
  • The mission of SolarCity has remained the same since the formation of the company in 2006. Rive said the utility industry is the largest cause of air pollution, water pollution and the main water consumer. “That’s not okay,” Mr. Rive said. ” You’ve got to change that.  That’s our goal.”
  • Mr. Rive said his mother taught him a valuable lesson that he uses every day, especially in business: She told him, once you start something, don’t stop until you hit the end.  Don’t give up.  Persevere through the pain and you will be in control of your own destiny.

Read our recent blog post on Mr. Rive / View today’s Full Agenda in Santa Clara.