Woman in Corporate Law — Sarah Dodds Brown

When it comes to data privacy, it is important to be transparent to consumers as to how their data is to be used and how they are protected. We often input information and quickly agree to whatever terms and conditions are shown to us as long as we are able to quickly move forward to the next page. But what we don’t know is, within those terms and conditions that we blindly agree to, sometimes out data are sold to third party companies to help their marketing research.

It is a sensitive issue in today’s world because sometimes, we don’t know what is being taken from us, whether it’s our address, name, phone number and even our social security number. As the Executive Vice President & Managing Counsel at American Express, there are a lot on the line regarding data privacy and how to protect them from being abused.

“We should also be discerning and have high expectations of the companies who we trust to protect our information and only use it in ways that we would expect given our relationship with them.”

Back in spring 2019, I was honored to be interviewed by ALI Reporter and was featured in Volume 41 Number 2 on page 12. We opened up about what it is like being in an ever-changing industry as well as working with a team of excellent individuals who are equally passionate about what we do.I thrive when I serve as an adviser and currently lead the Business Legal Group in American Express, which provides legal support for the company’s U.S. consumer, commercial services, global merchant and network services businesses, as well as the Global Advertising and Brand Management organization.

The world of electronic data and security is ever-changing and our society has to regularly adapt to this constant flood of new information regularly. “​​I spend a fair amount of time looking to understand, and personally use and be a consumer of, new technologies and services that leverage data.” It is important to be up to date with trends and customer’s ever-evolving expectations and behaviors. Teens and working class have different purchase habits, so it is important to be mindful of the wide spectrum of all behaviors, because this not only affects algorithm but, “accounting for those broader experiences with technology and data is important as well.”

At American Express, Louise Parent, who is a strategic partner to the company’s senior business leaders, really helped me with my career when she entrusted me with the company’s privacy legal function. While the workload was slowly piling up for my then-job position, it gave me room to innovate, push my limit and help evolve how the company thought about data privacy.

Being part of the Principles of Law, Data Privacy project was an eye-opening experience. I was able to interact with lawyers, jurists, and academics who shared their opinions about the issues relating to the protection of personal information. “It enriches our discussions internally and helps to inform our own principles as we pressure test our thinking.” As we know, laws are always interchanging, millions of data are out there, so it is crucial to broaden out understandings of current and upcoming changes.

“The Principles of a Data Economy project is more recent and has generated a lot of excitement within my team. It is an ambitious project that looks to tackle many of the ambiguities in the law that exist with respect to data, but it is also a validation of a lot of work and thinking that we have been doing internally as we strive as a company to become more essential in our customers’ digital lives.”

Our data is our privacy. How a company protects it is how a representation of how the company treats its consumers. “Woe is the person who ignores the quiet”

Click here to read the full interview, please scroll to page 12

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