Rob Hartwell

Robert Hartwell

Rob Hartwell draws on his deep understanding of the digital marketplace, from company practices to legislative and regulatory developments, as he holistically counsels clients on their product development, advertising and marketing, and policy advocacy. Rob offers practical and actionable advice to companies, complemented by his relationships with policymakers, ensuring that clients can anticipate the coming challenges and requirements.

Rob works with his clients to create compliance programs and product development cycles across multijurisdictional requirements, including state laws, federal requirements, industry self-regulatory codes, and international regimes. Rob has a full understanding of the data-driven marketplace that aids clients in their ability to use data to the fullest extent, from creating new products to finding their next customer.

Rob also serves as counsel to multiple coalitions and trade associations in the industry, advocating for reasonable policy and legislative approaches to the responsible use of data to continue to drive the economy forward. This work helps inform Rob’s understanding of market trends, policy developments, and how to benchmark practices for his clients.


Representative Matters

  • Representing Privacy for America, a national coalition of leading companies and trade associations advocating for a comprehensive, preemptive federal privacy law, as policy counsel. Along with a team of several Venable attorneys and legislative advisors, Privacy for America is the leading industry voice for responsible and reasonable data practices across federal privacy debates
  • Serving as privacy and general counsel to the Digital Advertising Alliance (DAA), a leading self-regulatory program for the advertising industry. Venable assisted in creating ubiquitous notice and opt-out choices for a variety of advertising practices via the DAA’s YourAdChoices Icon and opt-out tools. The team continues to advise and convene industry committees to develop the DAA program to parallel the ever-changing practices in the data-driven advertising industry
  • Representing leading data services companies with compliance with a variety of state and federal laws across industries. Helping these companies understand state privacy laws like the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), as well as how those laws interact with federal requirements, such as the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) and the Gramm-Leech-Bliley Act (GLBA)
  • Advising streaming media and content platforms on compliance with federal and state video privacy and wiretap statutes. Working alongside a small team of privacy attorneys, Rob has helped a variety of these providers navigate the ever-changing requirements for sharing data about video viewing and website activity. When questions arise regarding the Video Privacy Protection Act (VPPA) or state-level electronic communications recording laws (e.g., state wiretap statutes), the Venable team has helped prepare compliance programs and defended against plaintiff suits alleging novel violations of these statutes




  • J.D. cum laude University of Michigan Law School 2013
    • Contributing editor, Michigan Telecommunications and Technology Law Review
  • M.S.I. Information Policy University of Michigan School of Information 2013
    • Member, Phi Kappa Phi National Honors Society
  • B.A. University of Michigan 2008

Bar Admissions

  • Maryland
  • District of Columbia


  • Legal 500, Media, technology and telecoms - Cyber law (including data privacy and data protection), 2022