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eDiscovery Leaders Live: Cody Breunig of Waste Management

George Socha
March 30, 2022

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Cody Breunig, Director of Privacy and Digital Forensics for WM, formerly known as Waste Management, joins George Socha, Senior Vice President of Brand Awareness at Reveal, for ACEDS #eDiscoveryLeadersLive.

The Director of Privacy and Digital Forensics for WM, Cody is an Army veteran and former police officer who cut his teeth as a detective and forensic examiner on specialized task forces including the United States Secret Service Electronic Crimes Task Force and the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force. Cody holds a variety of forensics and data governance industry certifications. His forensic experience case work includes numerous capital crimes and multi-million-dollar lawsuits, and his data governance experience includes policy creation, management, and technology use for the construction of comprehensive data privacy programs.

Cody started with a discussion about the path that took him computers forensics to data privacy. From there, he turned to what data privacy means, exploring the interconnection between privacy, forensics, and eDiscovery. Next, he talked about the roles corporations might fill when they focus on privacy. That elided into an examination of the growing body of privacy laws, and the challenges posed by attempts to comply with them. Finally, Cody gave his thoughts on whether data privacy is must eDiscovery déjà vu all over again.

Key Highlights

  • [3:13] Cody’s background, his move from forensics to privacy, and his current role
  • [4:24] Exploring what “data privacy” means
  • [5:43] The interconnection between forensics, privacy, eDiscovery
  • [8:34] Answering the question, “what do you mean by data privacy?
  • [11:20] A data privacy fiduciary duty and a corporate data ombudsman
  • [14:19] The growing body of privacy laws
  • [19:12] The challenge of following privacy laws while digging for data
  • [24:47] Is data privacy just eDiscovery déjà vu all over again?

Key Quotes by Cody Breunig

  • “People ask, ‘How did you make that jump between forensics and privacy?’, and essentially I tell people all of these fields, whether its digital forensics, data privacy, security, eDiscovery, they all intertwine and connect with each other so its not, in essence, a jump. It’s moving more from one side of just investigations more to the privacy side.” 
  • “When you really dive into privacy you are presented with a set of problems that is unique. And that problem is just that: Are we doing the right thing?... Is there really a business need to collect people’s data in the manner we are? Are we being safe with it? And are we using it properly?”
  • “When I use this term ‘data privacy’, it goes back to data that relates to me and I want my privacy exerted over it as if I was at home, in my house.”
  • “Essentially you are putting somebody at the company to speak up on behalf of the consumer and fight back and say, ‘I don’t know if we really need to do this’.”
  • “Essentially all of these laws come together with the core foundation of the right to know, the right to access, the right to delete… and then from there each law might have separate caveats….”
  • “You are doing the right thing by placing your people’s data ahead of your own business needs and essentially securing their privacy.”
  • “When a company operates under a main pillar of ethics, this isn’t a hard question anymore. It’s no longer a question of how do we comply or if we comply. It becomes a question of, we will comply because it’s the right thing to do.” 

Connect with Cody

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