The Supreme Court's 6-3 decision in Sorrell v. IMS Health has been heralded as a major victory for commercial free speech rights and raised serious questions about how to reconcile privacy regulations with the First Amendment. The high Court struck down a Vermont law requiring that doctors opt in before drug companies could use data about their prescription patterns to market (generally name-brand) drugs to them. But what does the Court's decision really mean for the regulation of advertising, marketing, and data flows across the economy? Has free speech doctrine fundamentally changed? Will existing privacy laws be subject to new legal challenges? How might the decision affect the ongoing debate about privacy regulation in Congress and at the FTC?
Panel 1: Sorrell: Towards Greater Commercial Free Speech Protections?
- Moderator: Greg Stohr, Bloomberg
- Tom Julin, Hunton Williams
- Bob Corn-Revere, Davis Wright Tremaine LLP
- Greg Beck, Public Citizen
- Richard Ovelmen, Jordan Burt
- Prof. David Orentlicher, Indiana University School of Law
Panel 2: Privacy after Sorrell: Reconciling Data Restrictions & the First Amendment
- Moderator: Jim Harper, Cato Institute
- John Verdi, Electronic Privacy Information Center
- Jonathan Emord, Emord & Associates P.C.
- John Morris, Center for Democracy & Technology
- Berin Szoka, TechFreedom
This event was hosted by TechFreedom and the law firm of Hunton & Williams LLP. The event took place on Tuesday, July 19 from 12 to 3 p.m. at Hunton & Williams's newly opened offices at 2200 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington DC.
TechFreedom filed an amicus curiae brief with the Supreme Court in this case (our media statement), led by Richard Ovelmen, and previously joined with other free speech groups in an amicus brief before the Second Circuit.