Brooks Pierce partner Elizabeth Spainhour is playing a key role in the creation of the N.C. State Bar’s specialization in privacy and information security. She is one of eight attorneys on the Privacy and Information Security Law Specialty Committee of the State Bar Board of Legal Specialization, which is in the process of launching the new certification and developing its criteria.
The push for the new certification stems from the growing number of technology challenges facing North Carolina companies as they seek to better protect corporate, employee and customer data, as well as challenges facing individual North Carolinians who may have experienced a breach of their personal information. This new certification will help businesses and consumers locate better qualified attorneys to address these issues.
The specialty certification will build upon the Certified Information Privacy Professionals-US (CIPP/US) certification program and exam offered by the International Association of Privacy Professionals. To become a North Carolina certified specialist in this area, lawyers will need to meet a strict set of criteria including averaging at least 400 hours of work a year in the practice of data privacy law for the past five years, continuing legal education in privacy and information security, a peer review and passing the CIPP/US exam as well as a separate written test on North Carolina privacy and data security laws. The specialization is expected to be offered in 2018.
Spainhour is a CIPP/US who advises media and technology companies, advertisers, content creators and other businesses on privacy issues. She works with clients to assess data collection and use practices and to craft responsive data privacy and security policies.