Greg Stern

Former Global Integration Counsel at Chubb, Independent Consultant

My Articles

The Real Threats to Personal Privacy

Most people have no idea how valuable their personal information is and therefore how carefully they should guard it. Or from whom they should be guarding it. Right now, one of the biggest threat vectors is that most of the internet economy runs on advertising; advertising runs on targeted ads; and targeted ads run on what many properly informed people would conclude is information they would prefer to keep private.

Cloudy with a Good Chance of Increased Global Warming

The amount of digital content keeps growing exponentially. This obviously has tremendous environmental implications. At three percent of the global electricity supply, and accounting for about two percent of total greenhouse gas emissions, data centers have the same carbon footprint as the aviation industry.

The Problem With Patents

Over the past several years, using patents to protect innovation has become increasingly complicated as technology itself has exploded in sophistication and complexity. This is especially true in the realm of software. In the United States, patents are currently being used as both swords and shields in attacks on software innovation. This dynamic tension is most evident in the context of so-called patent assertion entities (PAEs) or nonpracticing entities (NPEs), otherwise known in the geek community as “patent trolls.”

Follow Me?

I am a big fan of technology as an enabler of individuals. But I am also an ardent supporter of privacy and personal freedom. These days, those two ideas often clash in ways that seem impossible to resolve. I am hoping that as a society we will be able to reconcile them, but it won’t be easy.

Environmentally Friendly — Guilty as Charged

Given the environmental and energy theme of this issue of the Docket, I thought it only fitting to talk about these topics in the context of our own use of personal technology. That’s right, the column you’ve all (some? anyone?) been clamoring for will focus on batteries.

Leading Practices in Personal Technology

The technology we use daily is becoming more capable and, therefore, more complex. In our modern landscape, we have a somewhat confusing mixture of (1) company-issued and maintained devices, (2) bring-your-own devices that often have company-imposed and technologically enforced requirements and restrictions, and (3) personal and independently owned and maintained devices. It is sometimes hard to know what best practices should be followed to maintain your personal tech. Here is some general advice.

Invest in Your Career By Becoming More Tech Savvy

As a lawyer, you are trained to understand how your clients’ business processes work. A lawyer who understands technology may be able to suggest ways to improve those processes that may not arise in your company’s IT team, which typically only gets involved when asked. Or, you may be able to suggest ways your entire legal department can better leverage technology as a group.

Sharing the Right Data

With the recent implementation of the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation, you’ve been hearing plenty of talk about cross-border risks for your company — the risks of moving the wrong data across the wrong borders in the wrong ways. This column covers a different but related risk: The risk that your law department is not allowing the right data to move across the right borders in the right ways.

Technology, Knowledge Management, Your Law Department, and You

Creating a knowledge management program is a collaborative activity that should engage all members of the department. Everyone has something to contribute, and everyone has a stake in making sure the program is a success. And if done right, knowledge management programs can be a lot of fun. The initial investment of time will pay enormous dividends for each individual lawyer, department, and company.