One of only five attorneys chosen for this award
Partner David A. Straite has been named Cybersecurity and Data Privacy MVP of the Year by the editors of Law360. This award recognizes attorneys who have distinguished themselves from their peers over the past year through high-stakes litigation, record-breaking deals, and complex global matters.
Straite was recognized for reaching a novel settlement with Meta for $90 Million to settle a decade-long data privacy class action involving Facebook’s tracking of logged-out subscribers in 2010 and 2011. Prior to the settlement, David and his team achieved a landmark decision in the Ninth Circuit, recognizing that consumer data has its own value. “We’re seeing an immediate change in how these cases are litigated, and we’re also seeing the idea of data as property open up other avenues for standing,” Straite said.
What might be most significant about this case is that Facebook will delete the browsing history that was alleged to be unlawfully collected by users. This is the first time a company has agreed to do so in a nationwide class action settlement, with Straite adding, “This is the future of data privacy litigation”
Straite also remarked that protecting privacy rights has become more challenging in recent years as the “invasive” scope of data collection from companies and governments has become more clear. “It’s increasingly important for people to have control over the data that’s collected about them,” he said. “People have the right to decide to say no.”
In addition to his case work, Straite, a member of the LGBTQ community, was appointed co-chair of DiCello Levitt’s diversity, equity and inclusion committee. The committee’s mission is to promote the hiring, retention and promotion of diverse attorneys and to foster a culture of belonging. Straite said this new role is a perfect fit for his privacy practice because the LGBTQ community has a heightened interest in privacy rights. “In certain quarters sexual orientation is still stigmatized.” Straite also emphasized the importance of LGBTQ attorneys being visible in leadership roles as an example to younger attorneys.
The editorial team at Law360 reviewed more than 900 submissions across 18 categories.
To read David’s full interview, https://www.law360.com/articles/1521781/mvp-dicello-levitt-s-david-a-straite (subscription may be required).