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Darren J. Abernethy is an ad tech, data privacy and cybersecurity attorney with more than a decade of experience, including in Am Law private practice in Washington, D.C. and as in-house counsel at startups and a leading privacy technology vendor. He advises clients on matters related to digital advertising, privacy law compliance, data breach management, M&A, and FTC best practices.

Darren's concentrations include data-driven marketing campaigns, the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) and other U.S. state privacy laws, the European Union General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)/ePrivacy, direct marketing, and IP-related transactional matters.

Darren has also practiced FCC/state telecommunications law, including with respect to broadband internet access providers and MVPDs, wireless spectrum users, network neutrality, and customer proprietary network information (CPNI) requirements.

Darren is a member of the International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP)’s Publications Advisory Board and the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C)’s Improving Web Advertising Business Group.


  • Digital advertising, self-regulatory frameworks (DAA, NAI, IAB), geo-targeting, cookie compliance, emerging technologies, and issues of particular interest to publishers, brands, agencies, and ad tech intermediaries
  • Drafting and negotiating the privacy aspects of commercial agreements, including advertising contracts, data processing agreements, and ToS
  • Global privacy programs, policies, and vendor management
  • Cross-border data transfers and data sharing agreements
  • Product counseling and privacy by design
  • Data breach notification laws and state/federal regulator investigations
  • Privacy/cybersecurity/IP-related mergers & acquisitions
  • FTC CIDs “truth-in-advertising” rules, COPPA, CAN-SPAM, and the Telemarketing Sales Rule


Esperienze Professionali - Attività Accademiche

  • Counsel a wide range of businesses on U.S., Canadian, and European privacy law compliance, employee privacy, and data protection, including mobile app developers, global fitness centers, accounting firms, e-commerce leaders, global beverage chains, bioscience firms, real estate developers, healthcare providers, Internet infrastructure providers, and cryptocurrency platforms.
  • Advise global gaming and app developers on monetization strategies, contractual protections, loyalty programs, and strategic programmatic advertising partnerships.
  • Assist website and mobile application publishers regarding identity, contextual, and first-party solutions in relation to the deprecation of third-party cookies.
  • Clarifying the California Consumer Privacy Act, EU General Data Protection Regulation, HIPAA, and other sector-specific laws as applied to advertising technologies.
  • Coordinate data breach management, response, and notification for companies in the health-device, global retail, CBD, health care, and other sectors.
  • Drive privacy and data security-focused due diligence in numerous mergers & acquisitions and fundamental corporate transactions.
  • Offer product counsel advice to a leading privacy technology vendor in relation to consent management, direct marketing tools, and individual rights management.
  • Advise clients on digital marketing strategies in alignment with the CAN-SPAM Act, the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), Canada’s Anti-Spam Law (CASL), and the nuances of local implementations of the EU ePrivacy Directive.
  • Advise organizations from all industries as to best practices in relation to website and mobile application analytics, third-party pixeling, custom/lookalike audience creation, and targeted matching and modeling, including the use of platform tools from major ecosystem participants to further privacy law compliance.
  • Revised geolocation-based services code of conduct for a leading trade association.°
  • Served as legal lead for all EMEA data protection and CCPA matters for multinational SaaS-based privacy technology solutions and certifications company.°
  • Provided product counseling guidance and strategic advice to spin up technology startups, including those deploying enterprise mobile messaging, e-commerce apps, and “smart” kitchen devices.°
  • Represented clients to regulatory and legislative bodies, including in matters before the FTC, FCC, DOJ, administrative law judges, and state public utility commissions.°

°The above representations were handled by Mr. Abernethy prior to his joining Greenberg Traurig, LLP.

  • International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP) Privacy Certifications
    • U.S. Private-Sector (CIPP/US), 2014
    • Certified Information Privacy Manager (CIPM), 2015
    • Certified Information Privacy Technologist (CIPT), 2016
    • IAPP Fellow of Information Privacy (FIP), inaugural class 2016
    • Asia (CIPP/A), 2017
    • Canada (CIPP/C), 2017
    • Europe (CIPP/E), 2017
    • U.S. Government (CIPP/G), 2018
    • IAPP-ABA Privacy Law Specialist, inaugural class 2019 (not accredited by California at this time)
  • The Trade Desk
    • Trading Academy Certified – Professional, 2018
    • Trading Academy Certified – Practitioner, 2018
  • Legal Intern, Internal Revenue Service, Office of Chief Counsel (Richmond, VA)
  • United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (Paris, France)

Riconoscimenti e Premi

  • Listed, Euromoney, Rising Stars, “Rising Star - Americas,” 2020
  • Member, IAPP Publications Advisory Board, 2020-Present
  • Member, Future of Privacy Forum, Location & Ad Practices Working Group, 2017-Present
  • Member, Digital Advertising Alliance, Program Advisory Committee, 2019-2020
  • Member, Board of Directors, Duke Law Club of Northern California, 2016-Present
  • Hackathon Judge/Panelist, OneTraction, 2016-Present


  • Diploma di maturità, magna cum laude, Duke University
    • Phi Beta Kappa
  • Laurea magistrale in Giurisprudenza, College of William and Mary, Marshall-Wythe School of Law
    • Lead Articles Editor, William and Mary Law Review
    • Co-Editor, Basic Virginia Law for Non-Lawyers
  • California
  • New York
  • District of Columbia
  • Francese