Karen L. Neuman

Karen L. Neuman

Partner Privacy Lead, Resident in Washington, DC
Karen L. Neuman

Karen Neuman is a partner in Goodwin’s Privacy & Cybersecurity group and leads the practice in Washington DC. Ms. Neuman is an internationally recognized privacy lawyer and former Chief Privacy Officer with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security in the Obama Administration. Well known as a solution-oriented practitioner with highly specialized expertise in complex privacy law matters at the intersection of technology and innovation, Ms. Neuman provides strategic, sophisticated privacy and cyber security advice to organizations and management in a wide range of sectors on issues related to data driven products, tools and services. Ms. Neuman is also a member of Goodwin’s PropTech Initiative, focused on supporting the intersection of Real Estate and Technology through thoughtful collaboration across practice areas and providing advice to traditional companies, including developers, operators of residential and commercial properties, and new entrants providing data driven tech services to this sector.

Recommended by The Legal 500 for her work in Cyber Law (including Data Privacy and Data Protection), Ms. Neuman’s practice is particularly focused on counseling a wide range of companies on commercial privacy matters, including the collection, use, processing and protection of consumer 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 the EU General Data Protection Regulation, cross-border data transfer mechanisms as well as the California Consumer Privacy Act. 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 privacy and cyber security risk, crisis management and cyber incidents. Ms. Neuman also conducts privacy due diligence in connection with mergers and acquisitions, financings and commercial transactions.

As Chief Privacy Officer at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, she was part of the DHS senior leadership team and principal advisor to the DHS Secretary. Ms. Neuman oversaw, implemented and enforced the department’s privacy and data security program, and provided advice to other senior leaders at DHS and other agencies concerning relevant statutes, rules, presidential orders, policies, best practices and global laws impacting interagency achievement of the Obama Administrations international data sharing goals. 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. Ms. Neuman was a member of the U.S. delegation that negotiated the 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. 





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 strategic counsel to numerous clients across sectors on the CCPA.
  • Providing ongoing advice to numerous clients on the GDPR and European marketing requirements.
  • Provided strategic advice to global hospitality brand on leveraging data holdings to further consumer loyalty and engagement in compliance with the GDPR.
  • Provided advice to global cloud service provider on strategic plan for responding to government data requests, including under the U.S. CLOUD Act.
  • 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.
  • Provided comprehensive advice to global provider of financial services software on formulating and implementing CCPA program for current and contemplated products and services.
  • Provided strategic guidance to global software provider on compliance with U.S. federal and state education law.
  • 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 and a member of the American Bar Association.


Ms. Neuman was recommended for Cyber Law, Data Privacy and Data Protection by The Legal 500 United States.

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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