National Lead of Transformative Technologies and Data Strategy Group, Partner, Privacy & Cybersecurity Dentons LLP
Kirsten Thompson is a partner in our Corporate group in Toronto and is the national lead of the Transformative Technologies and Data Strategy group. She is also a key member of the Privacy and Cybersecurity group. She has both an advisory and advocacy practice, and provides privacy, data security and data management advice to clients in a wide variety of industries.
Kirsten’s practice has a particular concentration in data-driven industries and disruptive technologies, and she is a leading practitioner in areas such as Fintech (including blockchain and “smart contracts”), digital identity, Open Data/Open Banking and PSD2 implementation, vehicle telematics and connected infrastructure, Big Data/data analytics applications and enterprise data strategy. She also helps clients prepare for and manage information crises, such as data breaches, investigations and class actions, and has advised financial institutions, insurers, health care providers and providers of critical infrastructure on cybersecurity preparedness and response planning. She has been lead Canadian counsel on some of the largest North American data breaches and has been selected as preferred cybersecurity counsel by a number of Canada’s leading financial institutions and insurance providers.
In her advisory role, Kirsten assists clients in navigating the legal and privacy requirements of new products and technologies, and provides compliance advice both within and across jurisdiction. She counsels clients on issues raised by social media, surveillance, identification and authentication (including biometrics and electronic signatures), vehicle and device telematics (including unmanned vehicles, both aerial and land-based), online behavioural advertising, big data and data analytics, data monetization, and FinTech and open banking. She advises clients on the increasingly significant informational elements of business transactions.
She has extensive knowledge in “Open Banking” and the implications of PSD2 and related regulatory initiatives (e.g. competition, privacy, etc.) affecting the aggregation and use of customer information in the context of financial services.
Kirsten has also advised on enterprise-wide “Big Data” projects, from the initial collection, use, defensible destruction, digitization and data cleaning through to the development of legal and ethical frameworks to guide the use of data analytics (including predictive analytics). She is working with her colleagues on developing a similar framework for the uses of data in artificial intelligence applications.
Kirsten was an early supporter of blockchain, and has been engaged in a number of consultations and pilot projects involving the application of blockchain to identity and authentication issues (including sovereign identity), business licencing processes, and tracking goods/food/drugs through global distribution chains. She has worked with several organizations on “smart contract” projects, and is interested in the possibilities of blockchain for payment security and commercial data security.
She has worked extensively in the “Internet of Things” area and has advised two leading automakers on the consumer-facing agreements with respect to their connected and semi-autonomous vehicles, and several companies in respect of their autonomous aerial vehicles (aka drones) and wearable devices.