Erik Jones focuses his practice on issues that arise at the intersection of law, technology, and government investigations. Erik is sought for his counsel on data privacy, cybersecurity, consumer protection, advertising, e-commerce, and the regulatory implications of disruptive technologies. He has represented clients in investigations before congressional committees, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), state attorneys general, and the Department of Justice. His senior roles in both state and federal government provide a unique and well-informed perspective to clients seeking to manage legal and regulatory risk.
A former Venable partner and co-chair of the congressional investigations practice, Erik rejoined the firm in 2020 after serving as senior public interest counsel under Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan. In that role – his second stint in the office – Erik led the office's investigation into clergy sexual abuse in Illinois. He previously served as director of the policy bureau and assistant attorney general. In addition to acting as Attorney General Madigan's lead adviser on data security and privacy, he developed investigations and legislation on a range of privacy and technology issues, including patent trolls, payroll cards, and the effort to update Illinois law on data security for the first time in nearly a decade.
Erik's experience in government began in Congress, where he served as deputy general counsel and chief investigative counsel to the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation. He helped create the Committee's Office of Oversight and Investigations and later served as its lead counsel on cybersecurity matters. Prior to his work in the Senate, Erik was counsel to the House of Representatives Energy & Commerce and Oversight & Government Reform Committees.
Erik played a significant role in Congress's work on data security, privacy, and technology issues, taking the lead in drafting and negotiating the Restore Online Shoppers' Confidence Act, which President Obama signed into law in 2010, as well as significant portions of the Cybersecurity Act. He led the Senate Commerce Committee's survey of cybersecurity practices among Fortune 500 companies and played an instrumental role in establishing the National Institute of Standards and Technology's (NIST) Cybersecurity Framework. He also directed the first federal investigation into the privacy practices of data brokers and managed the Committee's Internet governance portfolio, which included the decision by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) to expand top-level domain names.