D. Reed Freeman Jr.

Freeman Reed

Reed Freeman Jr. is an authority on privacy, cybersecurity, and the privacy aspects of advertising online, on mobile devices, in social media, and on connected devices such as smart TVs. Reed has extensive experience defending clients in Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and state consumer protection investigations and data breach responses. He also counsels clients on compliance with FTC and state trade regulation issues, state privacy and data security laws, including counseling on compliance with California's Privacy Protection Act (CCPA) and the implementing regulations by the California General, privacy and data security compliance around the globe, and advertising and privacy self-regulatory codes.

In addition to working with clients to develop globally compliant privacy policies and programs, Reed assists clients in connection with privacy and data security involved in transactional matters, such as mergers and acquisitions, asset sales and asset purchases, in contract negotiations, and in connection with applications for membership in industry trade groups. He also represents clients in false advertising disputes before the National Advertising Division (NAD) of the Council of Better Business Bureaus, Inc. (CBBB) and the National Advertising Review Board (NARB).

Reed's clients include retailers; hospitality companies; financial institutions; software companies; hardware manufacturers; online, mobile, and social media publishers and advertisers; online, mobile, and social media application developers; data aggregators; advertising technology companies; advertising trade associations; industry coalitions; and social media-based advertising service companies.

Prior to joining Venable, Reed served as the co-chair of the cyber security and privacy and big data practices at an international law firm. He previously worked in the FTC's Bureau of Consumer Protection as a staff attorney, and as chief privacy officer and vice president for legislative and regulatory affairs for an online advertising software company.


Government Experience

  • Staff Attorney, Bureau of Consumer Protection, Federal Trade Commission

Representative Matters


  • Represented a technology company in an FTC Privacy Shield Investigation (2020)
  • Represented a DNA/Genealogy company in an FTC privacy investigation (2018-2019)
  • Represented an adtech company in an FTC privacy investigation regarding cookieless tracking technologies (2016-2017)
  • Represented a developer of a widely distributed app in an FTC privacy and data security investigation (2016)
  • Represented an online advertising technology vendor in an FTC investigation involving the collection and use of GPS data (2014)
  • Represented a major hardware and software maker in an FTC investigation regarding the use of cookieless tracking technologies (2017)
  • Negotiated a favorable settlement for a privacy services company in an FTC investigation (2014)
  • Defended a food and beverage company against a Children's Online Privacy Protection Rule (COPPA) investigation (2014)
  • Defended a mobile application against an FTC privacy investigation (2011)
  • Defended a client in an FTC investigation regarding the use of cookies (2011)
  • Negotiated a favorable settlement in an FTC COPPA case involving online virtual worlds (2011)
  • Defended an online services company in an FTC investigation (2011)
  • Defended an online retailer against an FTC privacy investigation (2010)

Information Security

  • Represented a technology company in an FTC data security investigation (2020)
  • Represented a major retailer in an FTC data security investigation (2017)
  • Negotiated a favorable settlement for a hardware and software manufacturer (2015)
  • Negotiated a favorable settlement in an FTC investigation of an application's security practices (2014)
  • Represented a major software company in a data security investigation (2014)
  • Defended a professional services company against a detailed investigation following a large breach (2013)


  • Represented a technology company in an FTC advertising investigation (2020)
  • Representing a large manufacturer in an FTC advertising investigation (2019)
  • Represented a major hospitality company in a state attorney general investigation (2018)
  • Helped negotiate a favorable settlement for a consumer services company (2015)
  • Negotiated a favorable settlement in an FTC advertising investigation of a clothing manufacturer (2014)
  • Defended a client against an FTC investigation relating to recent amendments to the Telemarketing Sales Rule (2011)
  • Negotiated a favorable settlement in an FTC negative option marketing case (2009)
  • Negotiated a favorable settlement of the FTC's first online incentive marketing case (2007)
  • Defended a client against a "Made in USA" investigation (2007)

General Counseling Work

  • Continue to advise clients on CCPA and GDPR compliance
  • Assisted a client in the development of a consumer-facing privacy resource center
  • Assisted an online marketplace in creating a privacy resource center for use by employees throughout the organization
  • Assisted with the development of a cross-device advertising cooperative
  • Assisted multiple companies in connection with internet-based advertising, multi-site advertising, cross-app advertising, and cross-device tracking
  • Assisted a major retailer with affiliate marketing compliance across multiple affiliates
  • Defended an online advertising company and a major pharmaceutical company in a CBBB Accountability Program investigation under Digital Advertising Alliance (DAA) Principles for the Self-Regulation of Online Behavioral Advertising




  • J.D. University of Virginia School of Law 1993
  • B.A. History University of Richmond 1990

Bar Admissions

  • District of Columbia
  • Virginia

Professional Memberships and Activities

  • Member, Privacy Bar Section Advisory Board, International Association of Privacy Professionals
  • Fellow, Ponemon Institute
  • Fellow, American Bar Foundation
  • Former adjunct professor, Privacy and Advertising Law, George Mason School of Law
  • Former member, Data Privacy and Integrity Advisory Committee, Department of Homeland Security


Reed Freeman "is smart, practical, and understands business in a way that many lawyers do not; he is a calming influence and provides invaluable advice," according to clients. He is highlighted for his regulatory experience, including in the advertising and marketing sector. "He is a privacy savant," says a source. "He has things committed to memory that I couldn't possibly recall. He gives thoughtful answers and he understands the business aspect of my questions as well." Sources also say he is a "strong lawyer" who has "breathtaking knowledge" of offline and online privacy issues.

  • Burton Foundation, Law360 Distinguished Legal Writing Award, 2019 (Awarded for co-authoring "Monitoring Mobility—The Current and Future Regulatory Landscape for Advanced Automotive Tech")
  • Legal 500
    • Hall of Fame, 2017
    • Media, Technology and Telecoms: Cyber Law (including Data Privacy and Data Protection), 2016 - 2019
    • Government: Government Relations, 2016 - 2019
    • Telecoms and Broadcast: Regulatory, 2016 - 2019
  • Chambers USA, Privacy and Data Security (Band 1), Nationwide
  • Chambers Global, Privacy and Data Security (Band 1), USA
  • Best Lawyers in America, Lawyer of the Year, Privacy and Data Security Law, Washington, DC, 2021
  • National Law Journal, Trailblazer, Regulatory & Compliance, 2015
  • Washingtonian, Top Attorney, Cybersecurity, 2015
  • Corporate Intl Magazine, FTC Compliance Lawyer of the Year, Washington, DC, 2017
  • Super Lawyers, Administrative Law, Washington, DC