Christopher N. Olsen is a partner in the Washington, D.C., office of Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, where his practice focuses on privacy, cybersecurity, and data security issues. The former deputy director of the Bureau of Consumer Protection (BCP) at the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), Chris is a highly regarded privacy and data security expert.
As deputy director of the BCP, Chris directed the international work of the Division of Privacy and Identity Protection, which included the development and implementation of cross-border privacy rules for Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) member economies, and enforcement of the U.S.-EU Safe Harbor Framework.
He also oversaw the Division of Enforcement, which monitors compliance with consumer protection orders and develops and enforces a variety of consumer protection rules, and the Division of Financial Practices, which targets deception and unfairness in the provision of financial services.
In addition, Chris acted as the agency’s co-lead negotiator in discussions with the European Commission regarding improvements to and renewal of the U.S.-EU Safe Harbor Framework, and was the lead coordinator with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) on telecom issues, including coordination on major enforcement actions involving alleged cramming and deceptive advertising of unlimited mobile data plans.
Prior to joining the bureau director’s office, Chris was the assistant director of the Division of Privacy and Identity Protection at the FTC. In this role, he managed a number of significant privacy and security enforcement actions, as well as several of the most important privacy initiatives in recent FTC history, including a seminal 2012 FTC report on consumer privacy that formulated important recommendations for businesses.
Previously, Chris was special counsel to the Telecommunications Consumers Division at the FCC, where he was part of the management team that was responsible for the division’s privacy initiatives.
Before serving as special counsel, he was the deputy chief of the FCC’s Enforcement Bureau, where he directed several of the most significant enforcement matters in the commission’s history, including the agency’s first net neutrality order; its first actions enforcing the National Do-Not-Call requirements; and multimillion-dollar cases involving local competition and consumer protection rules. Chris first joined the FCC as a staff attorney before serving as the assistant division chief of the Market Disputes Resolution Division, which managed the adjudication and mediation of formal complaints alleging violations of the Communications Act.
Prior to joining the FCC, Chris was a partner at Howrey Simon Arnold & White, LLP, where he managed a variety of litigation matters, including intellectual property, antitrust, contract, and environmental insurance coverage cases.
- J.D., University of Virginia School of Law, 1989
- A.B., English modified by Government, Dartmouth College, 1986
- Bar of the District of Columbia
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