Thanks to our sponsors

Privacy: Who Is In, Who Is Out?

#sxsw #PrivInOut

The privacy debate has become a regulatory battle pitting two federal agencies – the FCC and the FTC – against each other. Privacy is a critical issue in today’s technology integrated world. From personal cell phone data to behavioral advertising, these are invaluable components of our daily lives and to our devices. As critical as this is, it is even more important that the jurisdictional boundaries be clear. Which pieces of privacy-centric issues fall under which umbrella? What role should the federal government take? How are start-ups, tech companies, and app developers being heard? Who gets the final say: the federal government, industry led coalitions, or consumers?


Catherine McCullough VP DCI Group

Catherine McCullough works where the worlds of law, politics and media merge to create policy in the field of technology. She was raised in Washington and has worked in politics and policy for over twenty years. A large part of her work involves helping those with good ideas understand Washington in order to turn those ideas a reality in the current political and policy atmosphere.

Prior to joining DCI Group, she served as a Counsel for the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, which oversees and regulates much of U.S. industry. There she worked with others to negotiate law for the consumer product, auto, tech, sports and insurance industries.

Her background in data privacy issues led her to a role as a negotiator on the US SAFE WEB Act, which became law in 2006, and the Committee’s identity theft prevention bill. Also during her time with the Committee, Ms. McCullough worked on high-profile issues including post-Katrina oil and gas pricing, steroid use by U.S. Olympic and professional athletes, the “Do Not Call” list, and the Jack Abramoff investigation.

Prior to her Committee service, she worked as an Associate Director of Media Relations at one of Washington’s top trade associations explaining technical legal matters to the media and Congress.

Ms. McCullough is a contributor to blogs on politics and policy such as CommLawBlog. She is an attorney and also holds degrees in Journalism and Political Science. She lives in Maryland with her husband and two children.

Christina Gagnier CEO REALPOLITECH

Christina Gagnier leads the Internet, Intellectual Property and Technology practice at Gagnier Margossian LLP, with a specialization in social media, copyright and information privacy.

Not resisting the startup bug and the desire to make some change, she also serves as the Chief Executive Officer of TRAIL.

At TRAIL, she leads the TRAIL team in creating and implementing the vision for TRAIL’s platform and providing strategic direction, managing platforms like JobScout and the soon-to-be-launched HealthScout.

At GAMALLP, Gagnier consults technology firms on policy issues ranging from patent law reform to communications issues, such as Network Neutrality. Gagnier’s primary research concerns issues of cyber rights and the intersection of on and offline action. Her most recent publication, On Privacy: Liberty in the Digital Revolution, contains analysis of the impacts of our behavior online on society’s legal privacy rights. In 2008, she published, Running Cases Through a Merck Sieve: Biopharmaceutical Research in the Wake of Merck v. Integra, discussing the legal and political impacts of the 2005 Supreme Court decision and the reaction of the circuit courts.

Gagnier has customized Gagnier Margossian LLP’s technology practice to broadly serve the needs of “startups.” Working with artists, Web TV writers and producers, Internet companies and mobile application developers, Gagnier provides digital strategy advising to clients who are often times navigating uncharted legal territory.

Gagnier researched at Stanford Law School for Professor Lawrence Lessig, working on Code 2.0 and Remix: Making Art and Commerce Thrive in the Hybrid Economy. In 2008, Gagnier coordinated the symposium The Toll Roads? The Legal and Political Debate over Net Neutrality at the University of San Francisco. Gagnier also served as the Chief Information Officer at, a national civic engagement organization dedicated to Millennial Generation advocacy and public policy.

Gagnier manages Gagnier Margossian LLP’s alternative dispute resolution practice, specializing in intellectual property, media, the arts and technology. Her legal and policy expertise provides a unique perspective to what is an emerging field in the area of intellectual property. She holds a minor in Conflict Resolution from the University of California, Irvine, and is a certified mediator in the State of California.

Christina blogs in the Technology section of The Huffington Post, is a columnist on legal ethics on the web and Internet law topics for California Lawyer, has been a contributor to CBS News’ What’s Trending, and a host on This Week in Cause, TechZulu Law and She is frequently invited to sit on panels discussing issues like Information Privacy and Data, law in the digital age, Government 2.0 and citizen engagement. She has also been a guest commentator on TV shows like Russia Today’s CrossTalk and The Aloyna Show, CCTV’s Biz Asia America and NBC’s Press:Here, on radio stations such as KCBS in San Francisco and WCCO in Minnesota, and has also been quoted by MSNBC, The Atlantic, Politico, Ars Technica and The New York Times. She is featured in the documentary about the startup world Crtl+Alt+Compete and enjoyed briefly flashing up on the screen in some b-roll in the BBC’s Steve Jobs documentary.

Gagnier earned a B.A. in Political Science and a B.A. in Sociology from the University of California, Irvine, a Master’s in Public Administration from the University of Southern California and a J.D. from the University of San Francisco.

Gagnier is admitted to practice in California, the U.S. District Court- Central District of California and the U.S. District Court- Northern District of California.

Gagnier is currently working on a book about hacker rights and on her other passion, California politics. If you ever need to find her, start with Twitter.

Sara Kloek Dir of Outreach Association for Competitive Technology

As Director of Outreach, Sara Kloek uses expertise gained from nearly a decade in grassroots organizing on political campaigns, advocacy campaigns and in the halls of the United States Congress to engage ACT members around the world. Sara coordinates the activity of the 5,000-member organization at conferences, workshops and meetups addressing app developer issues. She also manages ACT’s constituent communications program connecting app makers to lawmakers.

Sara has recently spoken in front of the Federal Trade Commission and the Maryland House of Delegates in support of small business app developers.

Prior to joining ACT, Sara worked for Representative Collin Peterson of Minnesota eventually serving in dual roles as Legislative Assistant and Deputy Press Secretary. Sara also worked on several campaigns in her home state of Minnesota including the successful campaigns electing Senator Al Franken and State Auditor Rebecca Otto. While in college, Sara led initiatives at the Minnesota State Capitol in support of equitable funding for the University of Minnesota.

Sara lives in Northwest DC and has a degree from the University of Minnesota, Morris in Spanish and Political Science. In her spare time, she assists her parents with their growing apiary and beekeeping supply business.