Alan Friel is the deputy chair of the firm’s Data Privacy & Cybersecurity Practice.

    Alan is a thought leader in digital media, intellectual property, and privacy and consumer protection law, with three decades of relevant experience to address the intersection of law and technology.

    Prior to joining the firm, Alan was a partner at a US law firm, where he led the US Consumer Privacy practice (in which he counseled clients on compliance with the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) and other data privacy regimes), and the retail, restaurant and e-commerce industry initiative, as well as served as the California Digital Assets and Data Management Leader.

    Having served as a general counsel for several years in the 1990s before returning to private practice, Alan has the necessary expertise to advise clients on making practical and informed business decisions, and help companies and entrepreneurs navigate the complex opportunities created by disruptive technology. With his in-house and private practice experience, he assists clients with creating data inventories, and information governance and data privacy and securities programs; developing and implementing policies and procedures for providing consumer data privacy transparency, choice and access; drafting and negotiating privacy and data security provisions for commercial contracts; evaluating privacy impact assessments; addressing data privacy and security issues in merger and acquisitions transactions; drafting and revising external and internal privacy and data security policies and procedures; and addressing complex intellectual property and consumer protection issues related to digital media, advertising and commerce.

    Alan remains at the forefront of emerging media and tech, advising content producers, distributors, advertisers, ad tech companies and online services, as well as big brands, social game publishers, and app developers and publishers, on related legal issues. He also works closely with his clients’ trade organizations, such as the Internet Advertising Bureau.

    Alan is a sought-after speaker. He is affiliated with UCLA as an assistant professor in a multidisciplinary project at the Graduate School of TV, Film and Digital Media, and is an adjunct professor at Loyola Marymount School of Law. Alan also provides pro bono consulting services to the International Association of Privacy Professionals, drafting, reviewing and editing CCPA training materials for privacy officers and lawyers.

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    Privacy and Data Protection

    • Defending businesses before the FTC and state Attorney Generals, including CCPA enforcement actions brought by the CA Attorney General and COVID-related inquiries by the NY Attorney General.
    • As a Certified Privacy Program Manager (CPPM) and Certified Information Privacy Professional (CIPP), helped hundreds of companies develop, implement and maintain privacy programs and comply with applicable data protections laws, including the California Consumer Protection Act (CCPA).
    • Advises clients regarding negotiations of proposed CCPA amendments and ballot measures, including regarding industry coalition negotiations with Alastair Mactaggart and his Californians for Consumer Privacy coalition. Also, on behalf of clients, files comments with the California Attorney General in connection with CCPA rule-making.
    • Conducts data risk assessments to help clients establish “reasonable security” and appropriate “technical and organizational measures” pursuant to the CCPA, EU GDPR, FTC regulations, and other federal and state regulatory requirements.
    • Developed, in the wake of a very public data security incident, a personal information handling program and related policies and practices for a major movie studio, which included addressing compliance with the CCPA and the Video Privacy Protection Act (VPPA).
    • Counseled dozens of online and mobile services regarding compliance with the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) and children’s advertising rules. Co-authored the BAA/PMA’s comments to the FTC on the last COPPA rule revisions.
    • Designed and conducted thousands of data practice assessments and audits for hundreds of companies; revised their privacy policies, terms of use, vendor agreements and information security policies; and helped design and implement comprehensive privacy, data protection and information governance programs. Such projects frequently involved multiple jurisdictions and/or affiliates. Coordinated local counsel in connection with international aspects of such work.
    • Worked with companies to implement privacy-by-design during product development.
    • Developed user consent programs for online services seeking to track, publicly disclose (including in “social ads” associated with the user) and otherwise make use of users’ online activity data, including video and other content consumption.
    • Counseled clients regarding privacy implications of location-aware services, and structured and negotiated agreements between e-brands and geolocation services providers.
    • Supports defense of consumer protection/privacy class action litigation matters by providing industry and law-specific (TCPA and CAN SPAM) advice. Counsels clients on how to conduct text, telemarketing, email and digital advertising campaigns in a manner that will avoid non-compliance claims.
    • Advising an industry-leading internet and mobile advertising software solution provider on the impact of new privacy and consumer protection laws on its products and services. Counsel includes helping the client expand its GDPR compliance plan and program to address the changes in US privacy law implicated by CCPA.
    • Outside privacy counsel to a major cable and telco company, supporting the client in building a privacy compliance program in preparation for CCPA, and advising on regulatory compliance, industry self-regulation and best practices regarding its development of addressable (i.e., interest-based) advertising for VOD and set top box linear TV programming.

    Advertising, Marketing and Digital Media

    • Represented the interests of multiple clients in the digital advertising sector while working with the Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB) to help develop a policy framework, multiparty agreement and technical signal program that will allow publishers and advertisers to integrate their CCPA “do not sell” requests with internet-based advertising technologies. Also worked with the Network Advertising Alliance, the Association of National Advertisers and the Digital Advertising Alliance on this and related efforts.
    • Serves on the internal data advertising and analytics review committee for a major media conglomerate, conducting assessments on data-driven marketing initiatives, including consumer tracking and/or targeting, inbound and outbound data sharing or acquisitions/dispositions, interest-based advertising, social media and other third-party integrations. Also regularly reviews existing practices in light of changes in the law.
    • Advised a growing streaming media provider regarding the acquisitions of competitor services, including how to acquire users and their data in compliance with complex federal and state video privacy laws.
    • Developed end-user license agreements, terms of sale/subscription and privacy policies for thousands of companies, including a movie studio, a major video game publisher, the largest educational software publisher, multiple mobile app/game publishers, a leading social network, e-commerce merchants and a leading toy company.
    • Counsels mobile and online publishers, as well as advertising networks and exchanges, regarding US and EU privacy and data protection issues (in cooperation with local EU counsel), including consumer tracking and ad targeting.
    • Advised an educational software provider regarding COPPA and FERPA compliance regarding product design and vendor engagements.
    • Advised social media and user-generated content service publishers regarding intellectual property issues related to user-generated content, content scrapping, music licensing and digital distribution issues.
    • Counseled numerous publisher clients, including a leading social network, on the legal aspects of social networking and user-generated content websites (including the best way to take advantage of the protections afforded by the Communications Decency Act (CDA) and Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA); legal issues regarding bots, scraping and robots.txt; compliance with the VPPA; and regarding behavioral and social advertising issues).
    • Advising a US podcast publisher on current and potential industry self-regulatory programs and data privacy and consumer protection laws regarding its current and contemplated digital advertising programs.

    Sports and Entertainment

    • Negotiated television and film development, production and distribution agreements, including the representation of a sports league in a multiyear license arrangement with a major US network, the producer who brought the “Regis Philbin” show to Fox Sports, various studio theatrical motion picture producers and multiple reality TV projects on various networks.
    • Counsels an NFL team on its marketing, promotions and sales practices, including the privacy and consumer protection impacts of proposed practices.
    • Negotiated digital music distribution arrangements for the US and South America with major music publishers and labels for online and mobile music service.
    • Represented major brands in multiple sponsorships of national pop music tours (including, on some, branded entertainment cable TV and/or webcast specials) and related activation (e.g., Miley Cyrus, Justin Timberlake, Jonas Brothers and One Direction).
    • Advised brands, publishers and agencies on single-sponsor “editorial” websites and publishers on sponsored “native advertising” issues, particularly regarding rights of publicity, FTC and NAD deception standards, and IAB best practices.
    • Successfully defended a leading “influencer” agency in a Federal Trade Commission investigation alleging that the firm did not follow FTC guidelines, resulting in closing of the matter without adverse action or settlement. Helps brands develop influencer market programs that comply with FTC standards.
    • Advises brands and retailers on loyalty programs, including compliance with CCPA.


    • Advises on HIPAA and state medical privacy laws regarding IT transactions and service providers, including de-identified data usage and sharing. Counsels covered entities on HIPAA and other compliance issues relating to marketing campaigns.
    • Advised an auto manufacturer regarding privacy and data protection issues related to in-car and smartphone computer applications and regarding data sharing arrangements with dealers.
    • Advised merchants regarding stored value, gift card, escheat, anti-money laundering and other laws relating to payment (including EFT and credit cards), prepaid discount, loyalty and virtual currency programs.
    • Counsels an academic information and marketing service provider on compliance with federal and state laws regarding student privacy, children's privacy, data brokers, marketing to students and government contracting. Also advises on the extent to which its entities and activities are in or out of scope for the CCPA and its options for addressing compliance.


    • University of California, Los Angeles Anderson School of Management, EPM, 2001
    • Northeastern University School of Law, J.D., 1991
    • Georgia State University, B.S., 1988


    • New York, 2002
    • California, 1993


    • U.S. Dist. Ct., C. Dist. of California
    • U.S. Ct. of App., Ninth Circuit

    Memberships and Affiliations

    • International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP)
      • Certified Information Privacy Professional (CIPP)
      • Certified Information Privacy Manager (CIPM)
      • Los Angeles County KnowledgeNet Chapter: Former Chair
      • Orange County KnowledgeNet Chapter: Founding Chair
    • Los Angeles County Bar Association
      • Privacy and Cybersecurity Section: Executive Committee Member and Board Member
    • Association of National Advertisers: CCPA Working Group
    • The Association of Media and Entertainment Counsel: Law Firm Advisory Board
    • Law360: Privacy and Consumer Protection Editorial Advisory Board
    • Children’s Advertising Review Unit (CARU): Supporter’s Council
    • American Lawyer Media publications: Internet Law and Strategy and Cybersecurity Law & Strategy, Board of Editors
    • Brand Activation Association (formerly known as Promotional Marketing Association [PMA]): Government Affairs Committee
    • American Bar Association
      • Entertainment Section
      • Intellectual Property Section
      • Advertising and Promotions Section
      • Privacy Subcommittee
      • Internet Subcommittee
      • Computer Industry Subcommittee
    • New York Bar Association
    • Loyola Marymount University School of Law: Adjunct Professor
    • UCLA School of Film, Television and Digital Media: Assistant Professor and Legal Advisory Board Member
    • Zocalo Public Square: Ex officio Board Member
    • “Alan Friel is especially knowledgeable about privacy and technology issues involved in advertising. ‘He is extremely knowledgeable and provides concise and to-the-point advice. He is quite practical and thorough.’ and ‘extremely personable, and responsive’” – Chambers USA 2021.
    • “Alan is especially knowledgeable about privacy and technology issues involved in advertising. He is a ‘strong player in this space’ and ‘a very good negotiator.’” – Chambers USA 2020.
    • Recognized by Chambers USA in Nationwide Advertising: Transactional & Regulatory - Band 3 (2020), Recognized Practitioner (2019).
    • Recognized by The Legal 500 United States 2018, 2019 and 2020 for Media, Technology and Telecoms – Advertising and Marketing: Transactional & Regulatory.
    • Recognized in The Best Lawyers in America 2020 to present for California: Advertising Law.
    • Named one of Los Angeles Business Journal’s Most Influential Lawyers: Digital Media and E-Commerce Law.
    • Martindale-Hubbell: AV Preeminent.
    • American Lawyer Media: Top Rated Lawyers in Technology.

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