Policy Priorities in the Pursuit of Privacy Protection


July 17, 2018


Policy Priorities in the Pursuit of Privacy Protection


With each new data breach scandal and related increases in identify theft and online fraud, calls from both sides of the aisle grow louder for laws and regulations to protect consumers.  But, often missing from these policy debates is agreement on what the details of such legislation and regulation should look like.

As these law and regulatory dialogues continue through 2018, several key areas of focus are beginning to emerge:  the issue of affirming Federal Trade Commission authority to be the most effective cop on the privacy beat; the appropriate role of state regulation; and whether to pursue more sector-specific rules or create a consistent framework applying across the digital ecosystem.  And we also look to what’s happening around the globe on the privacy protection front.

This Digital Policy Institute webinar features a panel of nationally-recognized policy, regulatory and legal experts on the core privacy policy pillars for the Internet Age.

Panelists and Moderator

  • Doug Brake – Director, Broadband and Spectrum Policy, Information Technology and Innovation Foundation
  • Sarah Oh – Research Fellow, Technology Policy Institute
  • Brent Skorup – Senior Research Fellow, Mercatus Center at George Mason University
  • Moderator: Barry Umansky – Senior Fellow and Senior Policy Advisor, Digital Policy Institute

Biographies of Panelists and Moderator

Doug Brake, JD is director of broadband and spectrum policy at the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation in Washington, DC.   He specializes in broadband policy, wireless enforcement, and spectrum-sharing mechanisms.

He previously served as a research assistant at the Silicon Flatirons Center at the University of Colorado, where he sought to improve policy surrounding wireless enforcement, interference limits, and gigabit network deployment. Prior to that, he served as a Hatfield scholar at the Federal Communications Commission, assisting with the implementation of the advanced communications services section of the 21st Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act.

Brake holds a law degree from the University of Colorado Law School and a bachelor’s degree in English literature and philosophy from Macalester College.


Sarah Oh, PhD and JD is a Research Fellow at the Technology Policy Institute in Washington, DC.   She completed her PhD in Economics from George Mason University, and holds a JD from GMU and a BS in Management Science and Engineering from Stanford University.

Ms. Oh previously was the Operations and Research Director for the Information Economy Project at George Mason School of Law. She has also presented research at the 39th Telecommunications Policy Research Conference and has co-authored work published in the Northwestern Journal of Technology & Intellectual Property among other research projects.

Sarah’s research interests include law and economics, regulatory analysis, and technology policy.


Brent Skorup, JD is a Senior Research Fellow in the Technology Policy Program at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University in Arlington, VA.  His research areas include wireless policy, new media regulation, telecommunications, and driverless cars.

He serves on the FCC’s Broadband Deployment Advisory Committee and is the vice chair of the Competitive Access subcommittee. He is also a member of the Arlington County (Va.) Broadband Advisory Committee.

Brent has authored pieces for law reviews, National Affairs, The New York Times, The Chicago Tribune, Wired, Reuters, Reason, and elsewhere. He’s appeared as an interview guest for news outlets like C-SPAN, NPR, CBS, and CNBC.

Brent has a BA in economics from Wheaton College and a law degree from the George Mason University School of Law, where he was articles editor for the Civil Rights Law Journal. He was a legal clerk at the FCC’s Wireless Telecommunications Bureau and at the Energy and Commerce Committee in the US House of Representatives. Before joining Mercatus, he was the Director of Research at the Information Economy Project, a law and economics research center.


Barry D. Umansky, JD is a professor in the Telecommunications Department at Ball State University. He formerly held the Edmund F. and Virginia B. Ball Chair in Telecommunications at Ball State. Umansky is a communications lawyer who has represented broadcasters and other electronic media and has had an extensive communications career in government and industry.

After work at radio and TV stations in the Midwest during college and law school, he served for seven years as an attorney doing communications policy work at the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) in Washington, D.C. Mr. Umansky then became Deputy General Counsel with the National Association of Broadcasters (“NAB”) in Washington, D.C. During his twenty years at the NAB Legal and Regulatory Affairs Department, he had responsibilities for radio and television new technology and spectrum allocation issues, environmental and land use issues, station licensing and many other regulatory matters of key interest to broadcast stations and networks.

He has been an active member of the Federal Communications Bar Association (“FCBA”), including service as co-chair of its Mass Media Practice Committee. Umansky also served on the FCBA Foundation board for several years. He is a Past-President of the Kansas Association of Broadcasters Foundation, where he still serves as a board member. He also is a former board member and Past-President of the Broadcast Education Association, based in Washington, DC.

In April 2012, he was appointed by the Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission to serve on the FCC’s Consumer Advisory Committee (“CAC”). In March 2013, he was reappointed to that federal advisory committee and was named co-chair of the CAC’s “Internet Protocol Transition Working Group.” In May 2015, he again was reappointed to the FCC’s CAC and was named co-chair of the CAC “Media Working Group.” In August 2017, he received his latest appointment, by the FCC Chairperson, to CAC membership.

In addition to undergraduate and graduate teaching responsibilities at Ball State, Mr. Umansky is faculty advisor to two Ball State student organizations: “Station WCRD” (for which he obtained an FCC license) and the “Pre-Law Interest Group.” The Pre-Law Interest Group provides guidance to undergraduate and graduate students considering law school.

Additionally, he is a senior fellow and the senior policy advisor with the Digital Policy Institute (DPI), a communications research and analysis “think tank” located at Ball State. DPI regularly produces white papers and op-ed pieces on communications policy matters. Umansky produces and moderates, several times each year, DPI’s national video webinars.