Karen Neuman, a partner in Goodwin’s Financial Industry group and a member of its Privacy + Cybersecurity practice, is an internationally recognized privacy lawyer and former Chief Privacy Officer with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. A solution-oriented practitioner with highly specialized expertise in complex privacy law matters at the intersection of technology and innovation, Ms. Neuman advises organizations and management on issues related to data privacy, cybersecurity, and regulatory compliance.

Ms. Neuman’s practice is particularly focused on counseling a wide range of companies on commercial privacy matters, including the collection, use, monetization and protection of end user and employee data. She has deep expertise providing advice on sector-specific privacy laws and regulations, including the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act, FTC and state privacy and cyber security frameworks, and industry self-regulatory codes. She also advises companies on cross-border data transfer mechanisms and planning for the EU General Data Protection Regulation. In addition, Ms. Neuman conducts privacy and cyber security impact and legal risk assessments, prepares internal data handling and incident response policies and conducts sessions for corporate boards on crisis management and cyber incidents. 

Prior to joining Goodwin in 2016, Ms. Neuman was Chief Privacy Officer at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, where she was the principal advisor to the DHS Secretary on privacy policy. As part of the DHS senior leadership team, Ms. Neuman oversaw, implemented and enforced the department’s privacy and data security program, and provided advice to other senior leaders concerning relevant statutes, rules, presidential orders, policies and best practices. She also spearheaded the integration of innovative privacy protections into various DHS programs, and oversaw how those protections were operationalized, notably the department’s big data analytics program, and White House initiatives for cybersecurity information sharing with commercial entities. She was a member of the U.S. delegation that negotiated an umbrella Data Privacy Protection Agreement with the EU and was part of the high-level U.S. team that supported negotiations for the EU – U.S. Privacy Shield. She was also appointed to President Obama’s Federal Privacy Council.

Ms. Neuman was previously a founding partner of a Washington, D.C. law firm, where she led that firm’s privacy practice and counseled clients in the life sciences, technology, retail, e-commerce, social media and consumer product sectors. She routinely provided advice on devising and operationalizing privacy and data security programs, drafted website privacy policies, FAQs, and Terms of Use, and performed privacy due diligence in connection with various commercial transactions.

Areas of Practice




Ms. Neuman advises a wide range of businesses regarding U.S. and European privacy legal frameworks and industry self-regulatory programs. Representative matters include:

  • Providing comprehensive GDPR readiness advice to a number of clients including: a provider of intelligence services for a video content delivery platform, a marketing management service provider, a global provider of voice recognition technology, a cybersecurity SaaS provider, and others.
  • Advised a multinational technology company regarding the privacy impact and legal risk of implementing data loss prevention technology and developed an enterprise-wide strategy for mitigating risk while achieving the company’s goals of preventing the loss of IP and other highly sensitive information
  • Advised a global retailer regarding the post-acquisition integration of the acquired company’s consumer data and how to leverage the data for marketing intelligence and other purposes
  • Advised a provider of B2B ad tech services regarding privacy legal risks associated with the development and deployment of cutting edge products, tools and services to assist consumer brands with segment insights and targeting
  • Advised a global financial services provider regarding legal risks associated with implementing novel actions to protect company systems and customer data
  • Advised a global provider of education services to formulate a global privacy compliance strategy in connection with the rollout of a new product
  • Provided Board education, including for a global provider of services to the financial services sector on the evolving role of corporate boards in understanding and accountability for cyber and data security risk
  • Advised a global provider of cloud-based software-as-a-service to the life sciences and pharmaceutical sectors regarding compliance with EU privacy law frameworks*
  • Advised an EU-based multinational luxury goods company in formulating its strategy for compliance with state and federal employee privacy laws for its global employee training program*
  • Advised a UK-based operator of child-directed, educational website, performing a comprehensive privacy impact assessment concerning the development and implementation of a Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA)-compliant privacy and data security program*
  • Advised a Silicon Valley technology company concerning the development of its privacy compliance strategy during development and deployment of cutting-edge digital products and services, with particular focus on COPPA*
  • Advised a provider of fraud detection services regarding integration of an evolving international geolocation standard into its emerging line of products and services*
  • Advised a global e-commerce trade association regarding the development of comprehensive, practical behavioral advertising and other online privacy guides*
  • Advised a global industry trade group regarding the creation of electronic retail transaction contract templates with a focus on customer data management and security for call center, distribution and order fulfillment*

* Denotes experience prior to joining Goodwin.

Professional Activities

Ms. Neuman is an active member of the International Association of Privacy Professionals, the Privacy & Data Security Committee of the Federal Communications Bar Association and a member of the American Bar Association.

In The News







J.D., 1984
Antioch School of Law
B.A., 1978
University of California, Santa Cruz



District of Columbia
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