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High Tech Upsurge in South Florida Raises Importance of Data Privacy Compliance

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Wednesday, 07 May 2014 07:19

By Lourdes Acevedo

(Washington, DC) Commonly referred to as the “Gateway to the Americas,” South Florida has long served as a major business and immigration hub for individuals and companies. With its close proximity to Latin America and the Caribbean, and its highly diverse ethnic population, it is no surprise that South Florida has become the newest region of choice by high-tech entrepreneurs from all over the world.

On March 25, 2014, the Ewing Marion Kaufman Foundation released the findings of its national study, “Lessons for U.S. Metro Areas: Characteristics and Clustering of High-Tech Immigrant Entrepreneurs.” Though the data to this study is limited to 2000-2011, it highlights the significant changes South Florida’s technology sector has undergone since 2000.

The Kaufman Foundation study found that for high tech entrepreneurs distributed throughout the top twenty-five metropolitan statistical areas, Miami and Fort Lauderdale not only have the first and third highest rates of immigrant high-tech entrepreneurs, respectively, but the areas also proved to have the fastest growth rates of foreign-born high-tech entrepreneurs.

The report also explains why South Florida remains an attractive market for high-tech entrepreneurs from all over the world. A positive correlation was discovered between a metropolitan city having a larger share of the foreign-born population and a higher ethnic diversity as key factors in bringing in high-tech business. With a population of 51.2% foreign-born persons, of which 64.3% Hispanics in Miami Dade County, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, and an existing culture of entrepreneurship, it is easy to understand why South Florida is leading the immigrant high-tech entrepreneurial wave.

This high tech upsurge coincides with a growing area of law-data privacy. With the rapid development of technology, companies are able to obtain a lot more personal information about its customers; this presents new legal opportunities and challenges. As the major Target breach earlier this year has shown, failure to protect consumer’s data will result in damage to a company’s reputation, loss of consumer trust and decreased revenue. This is in addition to any regulatory penalties that will be incurred as well.

When asked about the ongoing changes in data privacy law, Arthur Freyre, an attorney with Poblete Tamargo, stated, “For companies, this wealth of new information allows companies to better serve their clients. The challenge is for companies to protect that sensitive data from hackers. It is critical for companies to take the appropriate measures to protect themselves against anything that threatens customer data and trust.”

Please contact us should you have any questions or inquiries regarding data privacy policy, U.S. immigration laws, as well as potentially related business advisory services, for your matter.


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