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LINN FOSTER FREEDMAN

Linn Freedman practices in data privacy and security law, and complex litigation. She is leader of the firm’s Privacy & Data Protection group and chair of the firm’s HIPAA Compliance team. She currently serves as General Counsel to the Rhode Island Quality Institute.

Linn focuses on compliance with all state and federal privacy and security laws and regulations, as well as emergency data breach response and mitigation. She advises clients on state and federal data privacy and security investigations and data breaches.

What do you focus on?

I help companies and organizations adopt a risk management approach to precisely frame the purpose and means for the collection, maintenance and transfer of high risk data throughout their organization. I work with them to identify high risk data—both paper and electronic—and implement measures to protect it and help them develop defensible—and reasonable—approaches to comply with constantly evolving regulatory requirements and the risk of a data breach.
In recent months I have helped clients in the following areas:

  • Data mapping and development of enterprise wide Privacy & Security Plans
  • Developing approaches to comply with various U.S. and international privacy requirements, including safe harbor applications
  • Compliance with industry-specific privacy and data protection regulations, including TCPA, COPPA, FCRA, CalOPPA and the Gramm Leach Bliley Act
  • Written Information Security Plans (WISPs) in compliance with the Massachusetts data regulations
  • HIPAA Compliance Programs and employee awareness training
  • Patient Portals
  • Data Use and Sharing Agreements for Health Information Exchanges
  • Software and Cloud Vendor Agreements
  • Data breach response, remediation, coordination and litigation
  • Multiple investigations by the U.S. Office for Civil Rights
  • Privacy and security investigations by state regulatory authorities
  • Guidance regarding the privacy and data protection implications associated with the deployment of mobile communication and data storage technologies
  • Guidance regarding mobile applications and location based services
  • Website privacy policies and terms and conditions of use
  • Social media policies, practices and procedures

What do you see on the horizon?

Business opportunities that exist with new technologies like mobile applications, big data mining and social networking, and the amount of data collected and transmitted, are growing at a rapid and exciting pace. I see increased tension between these opportunities and consumers and regulators attempting to limit the use of data.

Media Clips

  • Lab I.T. Put to the Test
    Health Data Management | June 1, 2014
    Partner and leader of the firm’s Privacy & Data Protection practice Linn Freedman and Providence Government Investigations & White Collar Defense associate Kathryn Sylvia discuss provisions under a federal rule to give patients or designated representatives the right to receive copies of medical test results from most clinical laboratories.
  • LabMD Ruling Puts FTC In Driver's Seat On Data Security
    Law360 | May 14, 2014
    Partner and leader of the firm’s Privacy & Data Protection practice Linn Freedman discusses a federal judge’s ruling refusing to disrupt a Federal Trade Commission administrative proceeding against LabMD Inc.
  • Data Protection and Privacy Laws
    Financier Worldwide Magazine | May 1, 2014
    Partner and leader of the firm’s Privacy & Data Protection practice Linn Freedman is one of the featured industry sources in this piece on effectively handling, using, transferring and managing data. Click here to read the roundtable discussion.
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  • Any Calls, Texts, or Photos May Be Used Against You
    Boston Bar Journal | April 1, 2014
    Boston Government Investigations & White Collar Defense partner Gerry Leone, Providence Government Investigations & White Collar Defense partner and Privacy & Data Protection team leader Linn Freedman and Providence Government Investigations & White Collar Defense associate Kathryn Sylvia co-authored this column discussing warrantless cell phone searches and personal privacy issues.
  • Patients Get Direct Access to Lab Reports
    Clinical Laboratory News | April 1, 2014
    Partner and leader of the firm’s Privacy & Data Protection practice Linn Freedman discusses how labs should comply with patient requests for records under a new rule issued by the Department of Health and Human Services.
  • Latest Insider-Trading Case Highlights Law Firms' Risks
    Wall Street Journal | March 21, 2014
    Partner and leader of the firm’s Privacy & Data Protection practice Linn Freedman provides commentary in this article about the need for law firms to properly safeguard confidential client information.
  • Understanding the New Rule for Patient Access to Lab Results
    Health Data Management | February 12, 2014
    Partner and leader of the firm’s Privacy & Data Protection practice Linn Freedman and Providence Government Investigations & White Collar Defense associate Kathryn Sylvia discuss the new Health and Human Services rule, which allows patients and their personal representatives access to lab test reports and results from laboratories.
  • FTC Continues To Push Privacy Breach Enforcement
    Law360 | January 17, 2014
    Partner and leader of the firm’s Privacy & Data Protection practice Linn Freedman and Providence Government Investigations & White Collar Defense associate Kathryn Sylvia authored this column discussing efforts to ensure that adequate privacy and security practices and procedures are in place to protect employee and consumer data as the Federal Trade Commission’s enforcement initiatives increase.
  • LabMD Unleashes Trump Card in FTC Data Security Fight
    Law360 | November 22, 2013
    Partner and leader of the firm’s Privacy & Data Protection group Linn Freedman discusses the implications of the Federal Trade Commission’s data breach claims against LabMD Inc.
  • FCC Set to Enforce New Telephone Privacy Rules
    Direct Marketing News | October 3, 2013
    Partner and leader of the firm’s Privacy & Data Protection group Linn Freedman discusses new rules under the Federal Communications Commission's Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) that can have serious repercussions for marketers.
  • What LabMD's Data Security Breach Tells Us About FTC
    Law360 | October 3, 2013
    Partner and leader of the firm’s Privacy & Data Protection group Linn Freedman and Providence Government Investigations & White Collar Defense associate Kathryn Sylvia note that businesses that maintain, collect, receive or transmit consumers' information should be aware that the Federal Trade Commission considers a data security breach to fall under the umbrella of "unfair and deceptive" practices.
  • Will Regulation Lead the Way to Safer Health Care?
    Health Data Management | September 1, 2013

    This feature article focuses on potential regulation by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration of health information technology systems. Leader of the firm’s Privacy & Data Protection group and the HIPAA Compliance group Linn Freedman provides commentary.

  • Proceed With Caution
    Health Data Management | July 1, 2013

    In this cover story, leader of the firm’s Privacy & Data Protection group and the HIPAA Compliance group Linn Freedman discusses information technology security concerns and other related issues that have kept mental health data in the shadows.

  • Final HIPAA Omnibus Rule Expands Law's Impact on Firms
    New Hampshire Business Review | May 3, 2013

    Providence partner and leader of the firm’s Privacy & Data Protection group Linn Freedman and Manchester partner and leader of the firm’s Commercial Litigation practice Scott O’Connell co-authored this article discussing the final HIPAA Omnibus Rule, which implemented sweeping changes to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act.

  • 11th Circuit says HIPAA protections trump Florida law
    Reuters | April 12, 2013

    Leader of the firm’s Privacy & Data Protection group and the HIPAA Compliance group Linn Freedman discusses a Court of Appeals ruling finding that the patient privacy protections in the federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 trumped a 1987 Florida law that requires nursing homes to provide the records to a deceased resident's spouse, guardian or attorney.

  • New HIPAA Rules Pose Challenges for Healthcare Industry
    Reuters | March 18, 2013

    Leader of the firm’s Privacy & Data Protection group and the HIPAA Compliance group Linn Freedman discusses the new Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) regulations announced by the Department of Health & Human Services. Click here to read the full article.

  • The Use of Mobile Technology in the Practice of Medicine: Compliance Tips
    Bloomberg BNA Health Law Reporter | February 12, 2013

    Providence partner and leader of the firm’s Privacy & Data Protection group Linn Freedman authored this column highlighting practical tips for physicians and other health care providers to maximize the advantages of using mobile technology in their day-to-day practices while complying with privacy and security rules. Click here to read the article.

  • Red Alert
    The American Lawyer | January 1, 2013

    Partner and leader of the firm’s Privacy and Data Protection team Linn Freedman provides commentary about security issues for U.S. attorneys working and traveling abroad.

  • Newsmaker: Getting involved is first step to improving education
    Providence Business News | December 24, 2012

    Partner and leader of the firm’s Privacy & Data Protection team Linn Freedman is featured in this Q&A–style profile. The article focuses on Linn’s recent appointment to the board of the Women Entrepreneurs in Science and Technology and her other commitments outside the office.

  • Human Capital: People on the move
    Boston Business Journal | October 30, 2012

    This coverage notes that Boston & Providence Government Investigations & White Collar Defense partner Linn Freedman has joined the advisory board of the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE) New England. NFTE provides programs that inspire young people from low-income communities to stay in school.

  • Defending Big Data
    Law Technology News | October 1, 2012

    Partner and leader of the firm’s Privacy & Data Protection group Linn Freedman discusses the escalating accumulation of data and why attorneys, IT staff, and data professionals are paying closer attention to big data and its potentially thorny legal, ethical, and technological issues. Click here to read the article.

  • Privacy & Security: Enforcement activities have ‘increased dramatically'
    CMIO (Chief Medical Information Officer) | August 15, 2012

    Partner and leader of the firm’s Privacy & Data Protection group Linn Freedman is profiled in this two-part series discussing privacy and security issues as it relates to the health care industry.

  • ‘Cloud' Advisory Puts Small Firms on Notice
    Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly | August 13, 2012

    Partner and leader of the firm’s Privacy & Data Protection practice Linn Freedman provides commentary on the ethics advisory opinion from the Massachusetts Bar Association on the use of Internet data storage providers, which has some small firms and sole practitioners taking a second look at “cloud” safety.

  • Freedman Strives for Online Security
    Providence Business News | June 4, 2012

    This feature story profiles Providence partner and leader of the firm’s Data Privacy team Linn Freedman as part of the annual “Business Women” awards program. The feature story highlights Linn’s legal career both in public and private practice.

  • PBN Honors Local Business Women
    Providence Business News | May 1, 2012

    Providence Government Investigations & White Collar Defense partner Linn Freedman, leader of the firm’s Data Privacy team, is included in this article highlighting the 2012 Providence Business News annual Business Women Awards program honorees.

  • Human Capital: People on the Move
    Boston Business Journal | April 16, 2012

    Partner and leader of the firm’s Privacy & Data Protection group Linn Freedman is mentioned in this column for being appointed to the Advisory Board for Women Entrepreneurs in Science and Technology (WEST), a Massachusetts-based nonprofit that provides a leadership forum for women in science, engineering, and technology industries.

  • Smart Grid Data: Privacy Costs of the Information Jackpot
    Bloomberg BNA Daily Report for Executives | March 15, 2012

    This contributed article, authored by Buffalo Products counsel Jacob Herstek and Providence partner and leader of the firm’s Privacy & Data Protection group Linn Freedman, discusses a federal case that considered the collection of personal information by the smart grid. The article addresses why a legal resolution is necessary to keep pace with the technology.

  • Navigating Labyrinth of Data-Privacy Laws
    Providence Business News | March 12, 2012

    This guest column, authored by Providence partner and leader of the firm’s Data Privacy team Linn Freedman, discusses how organizations, especially in education, can navigate the complexities of data-privacy laws.

  • Mobile Devices and Attorney Ethics: What Are the Issues?
    BNA The United States Law Week | December 6, 2011

    This contributed article, co-authored by Los Angeles & San Francisco government investigations & white collar defense counsel Jason Gonzalez and Providence partner & leader of the firm’s Privacy & Data Protection Group Linn Freedman, discusses the ethical risks associated with attorneys’ use of mobile devices.

  • Q&A With Nixon Peabody’s Linn Freedman
    Privacy & Consumer Protection Law 360 | September 15, 2011

    This Q&A is conducted with Boston and Providence Health Services partner Linn Freedman. Ms. Freedman is leader of the firm’s Data Privacy and Protection group and Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) compliance group.

Ideas

What's trending in data privacy & security
Privacy Alert | July 18, 2014

Webinar Recording: Cloud Computing: are you trading compliance for convenience?
Originally recorded July 8, 2014 | July 11, 2014

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What's trending in data privacy & security
Privacy Alert | July 11, 2014

What's trending in data privacy & security
Privacy Alert | July 3, 2014

"Get a warrant": in colorful opinion, Supreme Court announces bright-line rule protecting privacy in cell phone data
Privacy Alert | June 27, 2014

What's trending in data privacy & security
Privacy Alert | June 27, 2014

What's trending in data privacy & security
Privacy Alert | June 20, 2014

What's trending in data privacy & security
Privacy Alert | June 13, 2014

What's trending in data privacy & security
Privacy Alert | June 6, 2014

What's trending in data privacy & security
Privacy Alert | May 30, 2014

What's trending in data privacy & security
Privacy Alert | May 23, 2014

What's trending in data privacy & security
Privacy Alert | May 16, 2014

What's trending in data privacy & security
Privacy Alert | May 9, 2014

What's trending in data privacy & security
Privacy Alert | May 2, 2014

What's trending in data privacy & security
Privacy Alert | April 25, 2014

"Encryption is your best defense": covered entities agree to pay over $2 million for stolen unencrypted laptops
HIPAA Alert | April 24, 2014

What's trending in data privacy & security
Privacy Alert | April 18, 2014

What's trending in privacy & data security
Privacy Alert | April 14, 2014

The Microsoft Windows XP security update expired on April 8—our recommendations to identify your risk and avoid pitfalls
HIPAA Alert | April 11, 2014

European high court strikes down Data Retention Directive aimed at telecommunications and Internet service providers
Privacy Alert | April 8, 2014

New OCR Security Risk Assessment Tool offers help for small and medium practices to comply with the Security Rule
HIPAA Alert | April 2, 2014

What's trending this week in privacy & data security
Privacy Alert | March 28, 2014

Cybersecurity risks and data breaches taking front row at SEC in 2014
Privacy Alert | March 27, 2014

ONC issues proposed 2015 Edition Electronic Health Record Certification Criteria
Health Information Technology Alert | March 20, 2014

First HIPAA settlement with county government: Skagit County, Washington Public Health Department settles with HHS for $215,000
HIPAA Law Alert | March 12, 2014

First data breach class action with no claim for financial harm settled: AvMed settles for $3M
Privacy Alert | March 7, 2014

Providers beware: HHS guidance for release of mental health information may be preempted by more protective state laws
HIPAA Alert | February 28, 2014

FTC announces approval of safe harbor program under the revised COPPA Rule
Privacy Alert | February 21, 2014

Final Rule for amendment to HIPAA and CLIA regulations allow patients to request lab reports directly from laboratories
HIPAA Alert | February 7, 2014

Decision that HIPAA regulated entities are subject to FTC enforcement forces medical laboratory company to ‘wind down'
Privacy Alert | January 31, 2014

President Obama announces "new approach" to government surveillance tactics to balance privacy rights and national security
Privacy Alert | January 21, 2014

Senator Leahy introduces Personal Data Privacy and Security Act once again, calling for universal data security standards
Privacy Alert | January 16, 2014

Medical billing company settles for "unfair and deceptive" practices as privacy continues to top list of FTC enforcement initiatives
HIPAA Law Alert | January 6, 2014

OIG issues Final Rule for safe harbor standards for EHR systems incentives
Health Information Technology Alert | December 26, 2013

DHHS OIG recommends hospitals using EHRs implement fraud and abuse safeguards
Health Law | December 12, 2013

Coming January 1, 2014: Amendments to California breach notification and privacy laws—what you need to know
Privacy Alert | December 12, 2013

OIG: the Office for Civil Rights did not meet Federal requirements for audits and enforcement of HIPAA
HIPAA Law Alert | December 9, 2013

Webinar Recording: TCPA vs. your customer communications: Serious changes coming for promotional texts and telemarketing
Originally recorded October 8, 2013 | October 16, 2013

TCPA: Your last minute questions answered
Privacy Alert | October 16, 2013

Our Top Five Riskiest Data Security Activities
October 8, 2013

Late reporting may prevent hospital from recouping HIPAA costs
Health Law Alert | September 25, 2013

Attention all businesses that market by phone, text or fax:
New FCC rules are set to go into effect October 16 and penalties for noncompliance are severe. Are you ready?

Privacy Alert | September 25, 2013

Webinar Recording: Are you keeping your client's health information secure? HIPAA Compliance 101 for professional advisors
Originally recorded September 12, 2013 | September 19, 2013

The HIPAA compliance deadline is one week away: Are you ready?
HIPAA Law Alert | September 16, 2013

FTC files first complaint against an "Internet of Things" marketer for failure to protect consumers' privacy
Privacy Alert | September 9, 2013

FTC files administrative complaint against medical laboratory for data breach of 10,000 consumers' personal and medical information
Privacy Alert | August 30, 2013

Big data companies beware: the FTC plans to boost enforcement in your industry
Privacy Alert | August 29, 2013

Failure to delete E-PHI on leased photocopier leads to health insurer's $1.2 million settlement with HHS
HIPAA Law Alert | August 16, 2013

Jury awards $1.4 million verdict to a Walgreen Co. customer for privacy violation
Privacy Alert | August 2, 2013

Wellpoint Inc. settles with OCR for $1.7 million for HIPAA violations
HIPAA Alert | July 16, 2013

Webinar Recording: Are you keeping your client's health information secure? HIPAA Compliance 101 for professional advisors
Originally recorded July 10, 2013 | July 15, 2013

The COPPA amended Rule goes into effect TODAY: Are you ready to comply?
Privacy Alert | July 1, 2013

California medical center settles HIPAA violation for $275,000
HIPAA Law Alert | June 19, 2013

OCR settles another breach case for $400,000 for violations of the Security Rule
HIPAA Law Alert | May 24, 2013

HHS and CMS release proposed rule to amend the EHR exception of the physician self-referral statute
Health Information Technology Alert | April 12, 2013

Webinar Recording: What the HIPAA Omnibus Rule means for you—Your questions answered
Originally recorded March 11, 2013 | March 15, 2013

Google settles for $7 million with 38 states over gathering personal data from unsecure WiFi networks
Privacy Alert | March 14, 2013

FTC settles with mobile device manufacturer for failure to secure & protect consumers' personal data
Privacy Alert | March 7, 2013

The Use of Mobile Technology in the Practice of Medicine: Compliance Tips
February 14, 2013

Webinar Recording: It's here and it's mandatory: The HIPAA Omnibus Rule
Originally recorded February 5, 2013 | February 13, 2013

Federal banking regulators issue proposed guidance and seek comments on use of social media by banks, credit unions, and savings associations
Privacy Alert | February 11, 2013

FTC issues privacy and security guidance for mobile apps and cracks down on enforcement
Privacy Alert | February 5, 2013

FTC settles with cord blood bank for lax privacy practices and data breach
Privacy Alert | January 31, 2013

HHS announces sweeping changes to the HIPAA Privacy and Security Rules in the final HIPAA Omnibus Rule
HIPAA Law Alert | January 23, 2013

FTC releases amendments to strengthen the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act and increase parental control over access to children's personal information
Privacy Alert | January 15, 2013

HHS settles first case involving a breach of fewer than 500 patients
HIPAA Law Alert | January 3, 2013

OCR issues guidance for the proper de-identification of PHI under HIPAA
HIPAA Alert | December 31, 2012

CMS modifies 2014 EHR certification criteria to ease implementation for eligible professionals and hospitals
Health Law Alert | December 26, 2012

Coventry Health Care, Inc. agrees to $3 million settlement for its employees' unauthorized access to the Medicare database
Government Investigations & White Collar Defense Alert | November 21, 2012

California attorney general warns mobile application developers of non-compliance with CalOPPA
Privacy Alert | November 6, 2012

New York adds new restrictions on the use of social security numbers
Employment Law Alert | October 26, 2012

HHS warns hospitals and health care providers not to "game the system"
Health Law Alert | October 9, 2012

OCR HIPAA enforcement update: Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary pays $1.5 million for violation of HIPAA Security Rule
HIPAA Alert | September 19, 2012

CMS and ONC release final rules for Stage 2 meaningful use requirements
Health and HIPAA Alert | September 12, 2012

FTC seeking comments on additional proposed revisions to Children's Online Privacy Protection Rule
Privacy Alert | August 8, 2012

Consumers pay more for privacy in Maine
Privacy Alert | July 26, 2012

The OCR is on an enforcement roll: Alaska Department of Health and Social Services settles HIPAA security case for $1.7 million
HIPAA Alert | June 29, 2012

HIPAA enforcement actions are not going away: An update on recent federal and state enforcement actions
HIPAA Law Alert | June 20, 2012

FTC issues final report on protecting consumer privacy
Privacy Alert | March 29, 2012

The Smart Grid: Privacy costs of the information jackpot
Privacy Alert | March 22, 2012

The Office for Civil Rights issues first fine for breach
HIPAA Law Alert | March 16, 2012

HHS releases proposed rule on Stage 2 requirements for meaningful use of EHRs
Health Law Alert | March 9, 2012

Data protection and privacy law in the EU: Comprehensive reform under discussion
Privacy Alert | February 27, 2012

Obama administration releases long-awaited consumer data privacy report
Privacy Alert | February 24, 2012

Be ready for the March 1, 2012, Massachusetts Data Security Regulations deadline
Privacy Alert | February 13, 2012

FAQs on the final ACO regulations
Health Law Alert | December 28, 2011

Mobile devices and attorney ethics: What are the issues?
Privacy Alert | December 8, 2011

OCR begins HIPAA compliance auditing program – Are you prepared?
HIPAA Law Alert | July 29, 2011

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Press

Events

Webinar: Cybersecurity, Data Protection & Privacy Risks in the Financial Industry
July 9, 2014 | Providence, RI

Webinar: Cloud Computing: are you trading compliance for convenience?
July 8, 2014

Data Privacy & Security Roundtable
June 17, 2014 | Rochester, NY

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Privacy and Security 101: Protecting high-risk data at private schools
April 3, 2014 | Providence, RI

A Privacy Law Primer: What Every Attorney, Compliance and Security Officer Should Know
February 7, 2014

Critical Issues in Information Security & Data Privacy
January 14, 2014 | Boston, MA

Do Ethics Exist in the Cloud? Practical considerations for lawyers and professionals in the mobile age
November 7, 2013

Critical Issues in Information Security & Data Privacy
November 5, 2013 | Providence, RI

Webinar: TCPA vs. your customer communications: Serious changes coming for promotional texts and telemarketing
October 8, 2013

Webinar: Are you keeping your client's health information secure? HIPAA Compliance 101 for professional advisors
September 12, 2013

Hacking, fraud, cybercrime, and theft: Is your data an easy target?
September 10, 2013 | New York, NY

Webinar: Are you keeping your client's health information secure? HIPAA Compliance 101 for professional advisors
July 10, 2013

What the HIPAA Omnibus Rule means for you: Your questions answered
March 28, 2013 | Boston, MA

Annual Rhode Island CLE Seminar
March 19, 2013 | Providence, RI

Webinar: What the HIPAA Omnibus Rule means for you—Your questions answered
March 11, 2013 | Manchester, NH

What the HIPAA Omnibus Rule means for you: Your questions answered
February 27, 2013 | Providence, RI

Webinar: It's here and it's mandatory: The HIPAA Omnibus Rule
February 5, 2013 | Jericho, NY

Health Care IT Security and Governance in the Post-HITECH Age
January 29, 2013 | New York, NY

Data Privacy & Security Issues with Mobile Technology: Practical Strategies for In-House Counsel to Reduce Risks
September 25, 2012 | Boston, MA

Responding to a potential HIPAA security breach: Practical tips from real breaches
September 19, 2012

Legal Issues in Higher Education
February 8, 2012

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Talks

Linn Foster Freedman,Linn Freedman,Data Privacy,HIPAA,HITECH,Data Protection,Data Breach,Security Investigations,HIPAA Compliance,Privacy And Security