Privacy and Data Protection


Lydia Parnes is a partner in the Washington, D.C., office of Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, where she is co-chair of the firm's privacy and data protection practice. Her practice focuses on privacy, data security, online advertising, and general advertising and marketing practices.

The former director of the Bureau of Consumer Protection (BCP) at the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), Lydia is a highly regarded privacy expert. As director of the BCP, Lydia oversaw data security enforcement efforts and the development of the FTC's approach to online advertising. She testified on numerous occasions on the benefits of a uniform nationwide data breach law, the risks of legislating in the technology area, and the need to assist consumers who become victims of identity theft. She served as the deputy executive director of the President's Task Force on Identity Theft, coordinating the efforts of 17 federal agencies in developing a national strategic plan to combat identity theft in both the private and public sectors.

Lydia advises companies on how to maintain the highest standards for the collection, protection, and use of consumer data while pursuing their business interests. She also helps them develop and implement comprehensive privacy compliance programs and understand the nuances of regulation and self-regulation in the privacy arena. Lydia regularly represents clients before the FTC and other federal and state agencies.

Lydia was named a top lawyer in the cybersecurity category by Washingtonian Magazine in 2015 and is regularly recognized in Chambers USA, Chambers Global, and The International Who's Who of Business Lawyers as among the country's top privacy and data security attorneys. In 2012, Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati was recognized by Law360 as a "top privacy and consumer protection" law firm.

Lydia speaks throughout the country on developments in data security and privacy.

  • J.D., Washington College of Law at American University
  • B.A., Political Science, American University
  • Vice Chair, Privacy and Information Security Committee, Antitrust Section, American Bar Association (2013-2014)
  • Co-chair, 2013 Consumer Protection Conference, Antitrust Section, American Bar Association
  • Vice Chair, Consumer Protection Committee, Antitrust Section, American Bar Association (2009-2012)
  • Member, International Task Force, Antitrust Section, American Bar Association (2010-2011)
  • Member, Long Range Planning Committee, Antitrust Section, American Bar Association (2010-2011)
  • Member, Department of Homeland Security Data Privacy and Integrity Advisory Committee (2011-2013)
  • Board Member, Council of Better Business Bureaus (2010-2013)
  • Board Member, Internet Keep Safe Coalition (iKeepSafe) (2009-2012)
  • Named as a 2015 "Top Lawyer" in the cybersecurity category by Washingtonian magazine
  • Selected for inclusion in the Internet, e-commerce, and data protection category of The International Who's Who of Business Lawyers in 2012
  • Recognized in 2012 as a member of the team honored among Law360's "Privacy and Consumer Protection Practice Groups of the Year"
  • Recognized in the privacy and data security category of Chambers Global: The World's Leading Lawyers for Business, 2011-2017
  • Named among the country's top privacy and data security attorneys in Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business, 2010-2016
  • Recipient of the Presidential Rank of Meritorious Executive, 2004
  • Co-presenter, "Privacy and Data Security: How to Effectively Position Your Company to Face the Latest Challenges," WSGR's College for Clients Series, June 17, 2014
  • Chair and Co-moderator, "The FTC Begins a Second Century: Is Past Prologue?" ABA Spring Meeting, March 26-28, 2014
  • Moderator, "Insights from FTC Privacy Investigations: Do's and Don'ts," IAPP: Practical Privacy Series, December 4, 2013
  • Presenter, "Corporate and Regulatory: Privacy Update," 25th Annual All Hands Meeting, December 5, 2013
  • Panelist, Privacy Roundtable, October 16, 2013
  • Panelist, "Is There a Technology Arms Race?" IAPP Privacy Academy, October 2, 2013
  • Moderator, "Global Interoperability and Privacy: Can It Work?" IAPP Privacy Academy, October 1, 2013
  • Panelist, "24/7 Clash of Personal and Professional Lives: How Technology Is Blurring the Balance of Legal and Policy Norms," ABA Annual Meeting, ABA Section of Science & Technology Law, August 10, 2013
  • Panelist, "Is There a Technology Arms Race?" NAI Summit, May 21, 2013
  • "Consumer Protection, Privacy and Advertising Laws," Consumer Protection Conference, ABA Section of Antitrust Law, February 7, 2013
  • Panelist, "Am I a Data Broker?" IAPP Global Privacy Summit, March 8, 2013
  • Panelist, "Data Privacy/Do-Not-Track Debate Panel," Technology, Media & Telecommunications Conference, March 12, 2013
  • Panelist, "Online Behavioural Advertising in 2013-Likely Developments in the U.S. and EU," IAPP Web Conference, February 27, 2013
  • Moderator, "Interoperability: A Goal Within Reach," IAPP Europe Data Protection Congress, November 13, 2012
  • Panelist, "Data Privacy/Do-Not-Track Debate Panel," Technology, Media & Telecommunications Conference, November 6, 2012
  • Panelist, "Crisis Management, SIEM and the Law: Turning Anxiety into Opportunity," MacAfee's Focus 12 Security Conference, October 24, 2012
  • Moderator, "The Role of Self-Regulatory Organizations in Protecting Consumers," Attorneys General Education Program Public Policy Conference on Consumer Protection, George Mason University School of Law, October 22, 2012
  • Panelist, "Privacy on the Book and on the Ground," Berkeley Law Privacy Forum: Silicon Valley, April 26, 2012
  • Moderator, "There Oughta Be a Law: Regulation vs. Self-Regulation," ABA Antitrust Section Consumer Protection Conference, March 28, 2012
  • Panelist, "Sex, Lies, and Cookies: Web Privacy EXPOSED!" SXSW, March 12, 2012
  • Moderator, "Conversations in Privacy: Trust and Expectations in Online Communities," IAPP Global Privacy Summit, March 8, 2012
  • Moderator, "Implementing a Culture of Privacy Compliance: Preparing for and Responding to a Data Breach," ACI's 11th Annual Forum on Privacy and Security of Consumer and Employee Information, February 2, 2012
  • Panelist, "Understanding the Federal Trade Commission's Proposed Framework for Consumer Privacy Protection," The Knowledge Congress Webcast Series, June 6, 2011
  • "Are You Tracking This? The Feds Are Moving on Internet Privacy," Silicon Valley Bank webinar, March 17, 2011
  • Moderator, "Behavioral Advertising & Other Marketing Practices Drawing Regulatory Scrutiny," ACI Conference on Privacy & Security, January 25, 2011
  • Moderator, "The FTC, the CFPB and Consumer Privacy Protection 2010," IAPP Conference, December 7, 2010
  • Panelist, "Privacy Policies and Data Collection," Online Trust Alliance, September 24, 2010
  • "Privacy and Security in the Cloud," WSGR General Counsel Series: Cloud Computing, July 21, 2010
  • Panelist, "Who Owns the Data on the Web? User Ownership of Data, Portability of Data, Interoperability," Stanford 7th Annual E-Commerce Best Practices Conference, June 25, 2010
  • Program Chair, "Generation Next: Privacy in the Age of Data," and Moderator, "The Future of Self-Regulation: Privacy at the Crossroads," IAPP Practical Privacy Series, June 14-15, 2010
  • "Social Media: Advertising, Consumer Protection, and Privacy Issues," WSGR Event, May 12, 2010
  • Moderator, "Breakfast with the Bureau Directors," ABA Antitrust Section Annual Conference, April 23, 2010
  • Panelist, "The Future of Privacy Regulation at the Federal Trade Commission," IAPP Global Summit, April 20, 2010
  • "Cloud Computing: Consumer Protection, Data Portability and Competition," Berkeley Center for Law & Technology (BCLT): Emerging Law & Policy Issues in Cloud Computing, March 12, 2010
  • "Privacy & Consumer Protection: What to Expect in 2010," Bank Information Security Podcast, January 15, 2010
  • "Privacy: Navigating the Regulatory Maze," Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati MCLE Day, December 9, 2009
  • "What's Next for Online Behavioral Advertising: Regulation, Legislation, or Continued Self-Governance?" BNA webinar, October 16, 2009
  • Panel Moderator, "Ensuring Regulatory Compliance while Administering Behavioral Marketing Programs," ACI's 3rd Annual Advertisers' and Marketers' Regulatory Summit, June 26, 2009
  • Co-chair, ACI's 3rd Annual Advertisers' and Marketers' Regulatory Summit, June 25-26, 2009
  • "Privacy Concerns in Marketing and Commercial Communications," PLI Privacy and Data Security Law Institute, June 23, 2009
  • "The Bureau Director's Roundtable: The Exercise of Regulatory Discretion in Response to Protestations of Consumer Harm," ABA Consumer Protection Conference, June 19, 2009
  • "Hot Topics: FTC Reauthorization," ABA 57th Annual Spring Meeting of Antitrust Law, March 25-27, 2009
  • "What Is An Effective Compliance Program? Evolving Perspectives from Regulatory and Law Enforcement Officials," 13th Annual Corporate Counsel Institute, March 13, 2009
  • "Supporting Self-Regulation's Good Name: New Issues, New Challenges, New Models," ANA Advertising Law and Business Affairs Conference, March 11, 2009
  • Bar of the District of Columbia
  • State Bar of New York

Contact Information

1700 K Street, NW
Fifth Floor
Washington, DC 20006
Phone | 202-973-8801
Fax | 202-973-8899

Email | Lydia

Areas of Expertise

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