Privacy Law Pioneer Dr. Alan F. Westin of Arnall Golden Gregory to be Honored

Dr. Alan F. Westin, an iconic figure in privacy law throughout the world, and AGG Of Counsel and Senior Policy Advisor, will receive the first Louis D. Brandeis Hero of Privacy Award at the International Summit on the Future of Health Privacy, June 6-7 at Georgetown Law Center in Washington DC.

  • Dr. Westin’s 1967 award winning book Privacy and Freedom is the seminal work in the information privacy field.
  • In addition to Privacy and Freedom, Dr. Westin has written or edited 21 other books, including Databanks in a Free Society, which catalyzed the development of the bedrock privacy concept of fair information practices. 
  • Dr. Westin is currently finishing a massive book titled Privacy in Western Civilization: From the Hebrews and Greeks to the Internet Age
  • Dr. Westin is Professor Emeritus of Public Law and Government at Columbia University, where he taught for 37 years. 

One of Dr. Westin’s law student research assistants was Robert R. Belair, who chairs Arnall Golden Gregory’s Privacy Practice Team.  Belair notes: "In 1890, Harvard Law graduate Louis Brandeis looked at photography and changes in the news media and, writing in the Harvard Law Review with Samuel Warren, called for recognition of the tort of invasion of privacy.  Seventy seven years later, another Harvard Law graduate, Alan Westin, looking at the implications of computers and other electronic technology, wrote in his groundbreaking book, Privacy and Freedom, that there must be legal recognition for the concept of information privacy.  Individuals must be given the right to exercise reasonable control over the collection, maintenance, use and dissemination of their personal information.  Today, literally tens of thousands of statutes, court decisions, regulations and company best practice standards, throughout the globe, are based upon this principle."

In 2005, Dr. Westin received the Privacy Leadership Award of the International Association of Privacy Professionals, the leading, worldwide organization of business, government and nonprofit privacy officers. 

Dr. Westin’s practice continues to focus on helping companies balance the effective use of advanced information technology with the need to protect the privacy rights of consumers and employees.

Arnall Golden Gregory’s Privacy Practice Team represents a wide variety of entities that collect, maintain, use and disseminate personal information, including health care providers, financial service organizations, background screeners and Internet and social media organizations.  AGG’s team represents companies before the Federal Trade Commission, other federal agencies and in data breach matters involving federal and state regulators.