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Nicholas P. Merker is an engineer, video game enthusiast and privacy advocate with a practice focus on data security and privacy, intellectual property and digital media representation. As a leader in digital law, he chairs Ice Miller’s Data Security and Privacy Practice and leads the Firm’s Esports and Video Game Law Practice. Nick’s experience, with respect to digital law, is unique, as he is one of a handful of lawyers in the country who worked as a computer systems, network and security engineer for 10 years before practicing data security and privacy law. Nick’s real-world experience translates to applicable legal solutions that empower organizations to feel confident in their legal strategy as it relates to data security and privacy.

Any lawyer can tell you what the law says. With Nick’s technology experience and passion for new media, he is equipped to apply laws to emerging technologies to identify and mitigate legal risk efficiently. That is, Nick strives to provide practical advice to clients that they can implement immediately rather than generate long-winded academic answers to basic legal questions. Nick knows what information security and privacy regulators expect, how to actually comply with information security and privacy provisions in contracts clients have negotiated, and guides clients to practical compliance. Nick’s action-oriented approach help to keep his clients compliant and ready to combat any cyberthreat, should one arise.

As a thought leader in privacy laws, clients have sought Nick’s counsel to understand the scope of trending privacy laws across the globe, like the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA). He also stays on top of leading guidance from regulatory agencies and industry groups that interpret older laws in new ways, like the Children’s Online Privacy and Protection Act (COPPA). Nick regularly negotiates regulatory compliance issues as a result of security incidents with the Office for Civil Rights and the US Department of Health & Human Services, State Attorneys General and Insurance Commissioners, GDPR supervisory authorities and others. With Nick's experience navigating intricate privacy laws and building privacy programs, he is equipped to advocate for the appropriate handling of personal information as Consumer Privacy Ombudsman under the Bankruptcy Code. (11 U.S. Code § § 332; 363(b)(1)). In addition, Nick has personally led over 250 security incidents as data breach coach.

Nick also strives to educate others on trending data security and privacy issues, as well as other legal issues found in new media. He is faculty at the International Association of Privacy Professionals where he leads privacy training across the globe to executives, engineers, lawyers and managers. He also teaches a Data Security and Privacy Law course at the Robert H. McKinney School of Law. As data security and privacy account for a larger share of legal risk now and in the future, aligning with a legal team focused on the trends is crucial for risk mitigation.
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Speaking Engagements
  • “Twitchy Business Streamer Workshop,” TwitchCon 2019, San Diego, CA
  • “Copyrights and Contracts: Legal Tips for Protecting Your Brand,” TwitchCon 2019, San Diego, CA
  • “Cybersecurity Risks,” Indiana Paralegal Association 40th Anniversary Event, Indianapolis, IN
  • “Cybersecurity Risks for Technology Companies,” TechFest Louisville, Louisville, KY
  • CIPT Certification Training, IAPP Global Privacy Summit, Washington D.C.
  • "Blockchain: A Better Way to Manage Supply Chain?" Forbes AgTech Summit, September 27, 2018, Indianapolis, IN
  • "GDPR. . . . Separating Fact from Fiction," ISSA - Indianapolis Chapter, June 14, 2018, Indianapolis, IN
  • "IoT Legal Issues for Manufacturers," IMA Technology Summit, June 7, 2018, Indianapolis, IN
  • "GDPR 101," TechTarget, May 30, 2018
  • "GDPR. . . . Separating Fact from Fiction," Rocky Mountain Information Security Conference, May 10, 2018, Denver, CO
  • "Product Safety and the Blockchain," AEM-Product Safety Seminar, April 25, 2018 - Chicago, IL
  • "General Data Protection Regulation," Ohio Attorney General Annual Education Conference, April 23, 2018 - Columbus, OH
  • "Privacy in Technology," IAPP Global Privacy Summit 2018, March 25, 2018
  • "Best Practices for Communicating Confidential Information with Clients," March 14, 2018 - Indianapolis, IN
  • "Cyber-crime Update," Illinois Manufacturers Association 2017 Annual Luncheon, December 8, 2017 - Chicago, IL
  • "Cybersecurity Update," Ice Miller LLP End of Year CLE Forum, December 5, 2017 - Indianapolis, IN
  • "The New Exposure: Legal Issues in Emerging Technologies," DePaul University Cyber-Risk Conference, November 28, 2017 - Chicago, IL
  • “Why Privacy Matters" Panel: Northwestern University, November 10, 2017 - Chicago, IL
  • "The Rules of the Road: State and Local Government Considerations for Autonomous Vehicle Initiatives," Smart Regions Conference, October 25, 2017 - Cincinnati, OH
  • “The Rules of the Road: State and Local Government Considerations for Autonomous Vehicle Initiatives,” Illinois Technology Association 2017 IOT Summit, October 18, 2017 – Chicago, IL
  • “Be My Wingman Any Day – Why Legal and the ISO need to fly together!” ISSA International Conference, October 11, 2017 – San Diego, CA
  • “GDPR is Effective May 2018: If you operate in Europe and don’t know that acronym, you probably should attend this session,” ISSA International Conference, October 10, 2017 – San Diego, CA
  • "Legal Trifecta: Preview of IWLA Warehouse Legal Practice Symposium," IWLA Education Webinar, September 28, 2017
  • “Information Security in Contracting,” DRI Cybersecurity and Data Privacy Seminar, September 7, 2017 – Chicago, IL
  • “Information Security in Contracting,” 2017 CASE Risk Management Seminar, Time-Tested Techniques for Managing Your Firm’s Risk, Chicago, IL – August 3-4, 2017
  • “Preventing, Insuring, and Surviving Fund Transfer Fraud,” Windy City Summit, Chicago, IL – May 24, 2017
  • “Use Case Panel: Security & Privacy – Working Together Towards a Trustworthy Internet of Things,” IoT World, Santa Clara, CA – May 18, 2017
  • CIPT Training, IAPP Canada Privacy Symposium 2017 - May 15-16, 2017
  • “Information Security in Contracting,” Rocky Mountain Information Security Conference (RMISC), Denver, CO - May 10, 2017
  • CIPT Training, Global Privacy Summit 2017 - April 17-18, 2017
  • “IoT Legal Risks,” CEDIA Webinar – March 30, 2017
  • Indiana Association of Cities and Towns Webinar:  “Watching Your Back: A Look at Cyber Security and Local Government,” December 6, 2016 
  • “Cyber-Crime,” The Ag Data Conference, Iowa City, IA - December 1, 2016
  • “Cyber-Crime,” IWLA Legal Symposium, Chicago, IL - November 3 & 4, 2016
  • “No Single Answer: Balancing Cybersecurity Insurance and a Strong Security Program” O’Reilly Security Conference, New York, NY - November 2, 2016
  • "Legal Perspective on IoT Security,” Blockhain360 & IoT Security Summit, Boston, MA – October 17-19, 2016
  • “Cyber-Crime,” Cleveland Office CLE, Cleveland, OH - October 13, 2016
  • “InfraGard First Cyber Security Summit,” Cyber Insurance - Indianapolis, IN - October 12, 2016
  • “How to Survive Fund Transfer Fraud,” RSM Cybersecurity Forum, Deerfield, IL - October 11, 2016
  • “Privacy - Security - Risk,” CIPT Training, San Diego, CA - September 14-15, 2016
  • “HIPAA Audit Prep: Lessons from OCR Enforcement,” webinar, Indianapolis, IN - August 31, 2016
  • “The Internet of Things: The Information Ecosystem of the Future - And Its Issues,” ISSA International Web Conference - August 23, 2016
  • “The Rise of Cybercrime: A Legal Perspective,” Central Indiana ISSA May Meeting: Indianapolis, IN - May 12, 2016
  • “IAPP Canada Privacy Symposium,” CIPT Training, Toronto, Canada - May 9-10, 2016
  • “Global Privacy Summit,” CIPT Training, Washington, D.C. - April 3-4, 2016
  • “The 21st Century Imperative:  Cybersecurity,” Butler University, Indianapolis, IN - February 26, 2016
  • Cybersecurity Risk Management Financial Leadership Forum - December 7, 2015
  • “The New Business Threat:  Cyber-Crime,” Ice Miller CLE Forum for In-House Counsel, Columbus, OH - December 1, 2015
  • Indiana Hospital Association Annual Meeting:  Secure Your Data and Your Money: “Preventing, Insuring and Surviving Cyber Attacks and Fund Transfer Fraud,” Indianapolis, IN - November 12, 2015
  • Information Systems Security Association's (ISSA) 2015 International Conference: “Preventing, Insuring and Surviving Fund Transfer Fraud,” Chicago, IL - October 12, 2015
  • IAPP Privacy Academy and CSA Congress, Las Vegas, NV – September 29 - October 1, 2015
  • 2015 CACR Cybersecurity Summit: “Preventing, Insuring and Surviving Fund Transfer Fraud,” Indianapolis, IN - September 15, 2015
  • Big Data Roundtable: “Business/Economic Process,” at the Chicago Board of Trade in Chicago, IL - May 29, 2015
  • IAPP Canada Privacy Symposium, May 27-29, 2015 – Toronto, Canada
  • Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) - April 30, 2015
  • “Protect Data:  Learn How to Prepare for, Prevent, and Address a Data Breach”, Indianapolis, IN - April 22, 2015
  • “Data Breach: What You Need to Know” - March 24, 2015
  • “Prepare for the Inevitable: The Impact of a Data Breach on Your Business,” Lisle, IL - March 12, 2015
  • IAPP Public Privacy Training at Twitter Headquarters, San Francisco, CA - February 2015
  • “Data Breach Costs,” WPO/YPO University Day, Indianapolis, IN - January 27, 2015
  • “The Anatomy of a Data Breach,” Ice Miller CLE Forum for In-House Counsel, Columbus, Ohio - December 4, 2014
  • “Cybersecurity: The New Business Priority” Ice Miller Indiana Compliance Officers Roundtable and CLE, Indianapolis, IN – November 13, 2014
  • “Practical Implications of a Data Breach,” International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP) KnowledgeNet, Indianapolis, IN - November 12, 2014
  • ExactTarget Connections 2013
  • IndyBar CLE: Recent Developments in Cyber Security and Data Protection Law in U.S. and Europe - 10/16/2012
  • ICLEF IP Symposium – 2012
  • ExactTarget Connections 2012
  • Indiana Association for Community Economic Development – 2012
  • Young Presidents' Organization (Indianapolis) – 2012
  • Presenter, 2012 Notacon
  • Cloud Develop – 2012
  • Big Data in Bio - 2012
  • Indianapolis Startup Weekend 2011 Judge 
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