Big Data is You - Opportunities and Pitfalls of Data Collection, Protection & Use in the Modern Ecosphere

February 11, 2014
Mark P. Szpak

Wired recently welcomed us to “The Programmable World.” Pointing out what many already know, Wired observed that more and more devices, from sophisticated phones to prosaic grocery carts, can collect and communicate data about our every step. While making our life easier, this trend also has the ability to make the arguments over “Do Not Track” settings in browsers seem quaint. And it has the potential to turn Social Media platforms and also hard goods manufacturers and suppliers of all stripes into Big Data, or for them to be run over by Big Data itself.
This panel will explore the lynchpin legal issues underlying these trends. We will discuss where the lines may be drawn, and by whom, over what data can be collected on consumers by Social Media and other tools, what data can be combined, and how data can be monetized based on privacy principles. We will also discuss whether the current US privacy regulatory regime is equipped with tools sufficient to handle these issues.



  • Mark Szpak, Partner, Ropes Gray LLP
  • Michelle Dennedy, Vice President & Chief Privacy Officer, McAfee
  • Prof. Edward Felton, Center for Information Technology Policy, Princeton University
  • Joanne McNabb, California Department of Justice; U.S. Department of Homeland Security 

Co-sponsored by the Stanford Program in Law, Science, & Technology and Ropes & Gray LLP.

Ropes & Gray Speakers

Mark P. Szpak
Mark P. Szpak
Retired Partner