Evaluating Privacy and Cybersecurity Risks in Emerging Technology Transactions: Artificial Intelligence and Education Technology (Part One of Two)

Global mergers, acquisitions and strategic investments are at a record high, and that significant uptick in transactional activity is taking place in an environment where privacy, data protection and cybersecurity laws and standards are rapidly expanding. A target company’s noncompliance with privacy and cybersecurity responsibilities can undermine its financial valuation, as well as its ability to complete a successful sale, IPO or other strategic transaction. In this two-part guest article series, Sidley Austin attorneys Sujit Raman, Sharon Flanagan, Michael R. Roberts and Francesca Blythe examine U.S., U.K. and E.U. regulatory trends in four key emerging technology sectors that recently have seen vastly increasing amounts of transactional activity. This first article outlines key issues for PE sponsors to consider when evaluating the privacy, data protection and cybersecurity risk profiles of target companies in artificial intelligence and education technology transactions. The second article will address biometrics, as well as financial technology and cryptocurrency transactions. For other privacy-related issues for fund managers to weigh, see “How to Facilitate a Privacy Compliant Return to Work: Contact Tracing and Fund Manager Considerations (Part Three of Three)” (Oct. 20, 2020); and “The Dos and Don’ts of Investor Calls That Investment Managers Must Consider” (Jun. 16, 2020).

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