Photo of Joseph J. Lazzarotti

Joseph J. Lazzarotti is a principal in the Berkeley Heights, New Jersey, office of Jackson Lewis P.C. He founded and currently co-leads the firm's Privacy, Data and Cybersecurity practice group, edits the firm’s Privacy Blog, and is a Certified Information Privacy Professional (CIPP) with the International Association of Privacy Professionals. Trained as an employee benefits lawyer, focused on compliance, Joe also is a member of the firm’s Employee Benefits practice group.

In short, his practice focuses on the matrix of laws governing the privacy, security, and management of data, as well as the impact and regulation of social media. He also counsels companies on compliance, fiduciary, taxation, and administrative matters with respect to employee benefit plans.

Privacy and cybersecurity experience - Joe counsels multinational, national and regional companies in all industries on the broad array of laws, regulations, best practices, and preventive safeguards. The following are examples of areas of focus in his practice:

  • Advising health care providers, business associates, and group health plan sponsors concerning HIPAA/HITECH compliance, including risk assessments, policies and procedures, incident response plan development, vendor assessment and management programs, and training.
  • Coached hundreds of companies through the investigation, remediation, notification, and overall response to data breaches of all kinds – PHI, PII, payment card, etc.
  • Helping organizations address questions about the application, implementation, and overall compliance with European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and, in particular, its implications in the U.S., together with preparing for the California Consumer Privacy Act.
  • Working with organizations to develop and implement video, audio, and data-driven monitoring and surveillance programs. For instance, in the transportation and related industries, Joe has worked with numerous clients on fleet management programs involving the use of telematics, dash-cams, event data recorders (EDR), and related technologies. He also has advised many clients in the use of biometrics including with regard to consent, data security, and retention issues under BIPA and other laws.
  • Assisting clients with growing state data security mandates to safeguard personal information, including steering clients through detailed risk assessments and converting those assessments into practical “best practice” risk management solutions, including written information security programs (WISPs). Related work includes compliance advice concerning FTC Act, Regulation S-P, GLBA, and New York Reg. 500.
  • Advising clients about best practices for electronic communications, including in social media, as well as when communicating under a “bring your own device” (BYOD) or “company owned personally enabled device” (COPE) environment.
  • Conducting various levels of privacy and data security training for executives and employees
  • Supports organizations through mergers, acquisitions, and reorganizations with regard to the handling of employee and customer data, and the safeguarding of that data during the transaction.
  • Representing organizations in matters involving inquiries into privacy and data security compliance before federal and state agencies including the HHS Office of Civil Rights, Federal Trade Commission, and various state Attorneys General.

Benefits counseling experience - Joe's work in the benefits counseling area covers many areas of employee benefits law. Below are some examples of that work:

  • As part of the Firm's Health Care Reform Team, he advises employers and plan sponsors regarding the establishment, administration and operation of fully insured and self-funded health and welfare plans to comply with ERISA, IRC, ACA/PPACA, HIPAA, COBRA, ADA, GINA, and other related laws.
  • Guiding clients through the selection of plan service providers, along with negotiating service agreements with vendors to address plan compliance and operations, while leveraging data security experience to ensure plan data is safeguarded.
  • Counsels plan sponsors on day-to-day compliance and administrative issues affecting plans.
  • Assists in the design and drafting of benefit plan documents, including severance and fringe benefit plans.
  • Advises plan sponsors concerning employee benefit plan operation, administration and correcting errors in operation.

Joe speaks and writes regularly on current employee benefits and data privacy and cybersecurity topics and his work has been published in leading business and legal journals and media outlets, such as The Washington Post, Inside Counsel, Bloomberg, The National Law Journal, Financial Times, Business Insurance, HR Magazine and NPR, as well as the ABA Journal, The American Lawyer, Law360, Bender's Labor and Employment Bulletin, the Australian Privacy Law Bulletin and the Privacy, and Data Security Law Journal.

Joe served as a judicial law clerk for the Honorable Laura Denvir Stith on the Missouri Court of Appeals.

To celebrate Data Privacy Day, we present our top ten data privacy and cybersecurity predictions for 2023.

1. Healthcare and Medical Data Security and Tracking

The healthcare industry has been facing increased scrutiny for the protection of healthcare information both online and on apps.

2023 will see a significant increase in the number of lawsuits

Much is being written about “remote work” – is it productive, will demand for it continue or be curtailed in a recession, is cybersecurity compromised, does it inhibit workplace culture, collaboration, etc. Lots of questions, few clear answers. The discussion seems largely centered on office workers, professional services providers like me, who generally can perform

In 2021, New York City enacted a measure that banned the use of Automated Employment Decision-Making Tools (“AEDT”) to (1) screen job candidates for employment, or (2) evaluate current employees for promotion, unless the tool has been subject to a “bias audit, conducted not more than one year prior to the use of the tool.”

Last month, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office for Civil Rights (OCR) issued a bulletin with guidance concerning the use of online tracking technologies by covered entities and business associates under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). The OCR Bulletin follows a significant uptick in litigation concerning these technologies

It usually happens after a reported data breach. The organization experiencing the breach sends notifications to affected individuals, as well as federal and or state agencies where appropriate and perhaps other parties. Not long thereafter, the organization receives an inquiry from one or more government agencies. These inquiries typically seek more information about the breach

On December 22, 2022, the Nevada Gaming Commission (NGC) adopted regulations creating new cybersecurity requirements for certain gaming operators. This action joins agencies in other jurisdictions moving quickly to protect consumers and their personal information in the gaming industry. The NGC adopted the October 17, 2022 version of the regulations, which become effective January

As the year comes to a close here are some of the highlights from the Workplace Privacy, Data Management & Security Report with our Top 10 most popular posts of 2022:

1. California Consumer Privacy Act FAQs: Employment Information

As the California Privacy Rights Act moves toward taking effect and exceptions applying to employment-related data

On December 16, 2022, the California Privacy Protection Agency (CPPA) had its final meeting before the California Privacy Rights Act (CPRA) which amended the California Consumer Privacy Act takes effect on January 1, 2023. Despite the CPRA taking effect at the start of the year, the CPPA, the agency charged with implementing the law

On January 1, 2023, Virginia’s Consumer Data Protection Act (CPDA) takes effect. Key features of the CPDA include expansive consumer privacy rights (right to access, right of rectification, right to delete, right to opt-out, right of portability, right against automatic decision making), a broad definition of “personal information”, the inclusion of a “sensitive data” category

In June 2022, the California Privacy Protection Agency (CPPA) Board first started discussions about revising the regulations previously released by the California Attorney General.

In October, the Board released proposed modifications to the regulations in advance of a planned Board meeting. Since then, the Board has rescheduled both Board and public meetings.

The Board