Erik Jones, Partner

Erik Jones brings extensive experience in the intersection of law and technology and governmental investigations to WBK. He is a leading authority on data privacy, cybersecurity, consumer protection, and the regulatory implications of disruptive technologies. Erik’s senior roles in both state and federal government provide him a unique and broad perspective for clients seeking to manage legal and regulatory risk.

Erik joins WBK from the Illinois Attorney General’s office, most recently serving as Senior Public Interest Counsel under Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan. In that role - his second tour of duty in the office - General Madigan tapped Erik to lead the office’s investigation into clergy sexual abuse in Illinois. He previously served as Director of the Policy Bureau and Assistant Attorney General, where he was General Madigan’s lead advisor 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 began his career in government in Congress, serving as Counsel on the House of Representatives’ Energy & Commerce and Oversight & Government Reform Committees, and in the Senate as Deputy General Counsel & Chief Investigative Counsel for the Senate’s Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation. In these roles, he led congressional investigations into a range of issues, from e-commerce practices and privacy to government contracting and environmental regulations. Notably, Erik served as lead counsel on the investigation that uncovered the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) was sending trailers with high levels of formaldehyde to victims of Hurricane Katrina.

Erik also played a significant role in Congress’s work on data security 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 important parts of the Cybersecurity Act. He also pushed for the establishment of the National Institute of Standards and Technology Cybersecurity Framework, the public-private partnership for developing cybersecurity standards, and also directed the first federal investigation into the privacy practices of data brokers.

Between his stints in the Illinois Attorney General’s office, Erik was a Partner with a major Washington, DC, law firm and a Democratic candidate for United States Congress (IL-13). As a candidate, he received endorsements from the Chicago Tribune, the State Journal-Register, the League of Conservation Voters, the Sierra Club, and many others. Erik began his legal career as an associate in the Washington, DC, office of an international law firm.

Selected Representations

  • Data Breach Incidents: Represented Fortune 500 companies in data breach investigations conducted by state attorneys general, the Federal Trade Commission, and the Federal Communications Commission.
  • Congressional Investigations: Represented universities, firms, and non-profits in investigations and inquiries conducted by the Senate Committee on Commerce, the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, and the House Committee on Oversight.
  • Compliance: Counseled clients on compliance with state and federal data security and cybersecurity regimes, the Restore Online Shoppers’ Confidence Act, HIPPA, COPPA, Section 5 of the FTC Act, and state consumer fraud acts.
  • Privacy Framework: Developed the privacy framework for an innovative technology platform to ensure compliance with state and federal privacy laws.
  • State Legislation and Policy: Served as outside counsel to associations, and reviewed state legislative and policy initiatives related to self-driving vehicles, privacy, and data security, and regularly testified in front of state legislatures.
Selected Speaking Engagements
  • February 2017 – May 2017: Witness at hearings regarding autonomous vehicles before various state legislatures and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA)
  • April 2016: Moderator on a panel titled, “Privacy and Data Security Trends in the States” at the International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP) Global Privacy Summit 2016
  • February 2016: Speaker on a panel titled, “Policy, Politics, and Consumer Trust in Digital Marketing” at the Ramp Up 2016 Conference
  • December 2015: Speaker on a panel titled, “A Breach Can Happen to You (or Already Has, and You Just Don’t Know It Yet): How Nonprofits Can Best Manage Cybersecurity Risk”
  • September 2015: Speaker at a Thought Leadership Breakfast entitled “The Cybersecurity Threat – What You Can’t See Can Hurt You”
  • March – April 2015: Witness at legislative hearings on data security before the Judiciary Committees for the Illinois Senate and House of Representatives
  • August 2014: Speaker on data security and identity theft at the Attorney General’s roundtables with law enforcement and local officials in southern Illinois
  • July 2014: Witness at a hearing titled, “Data Security and Identity Theft” before the Finance Committee of the Chicago City Council
  • June 2014: Speaker on a panel on patent trolls at the Association of Corporate Patent Counsel’s summer meeting
  • April 2014: Speaker on a panel titled, “Challenges in Assessing Medical Apps” at Chicago Kent College of Law’s conference on Medical Apps, Privacy, and Liability
  • March 2014: Speaker on a panel titled, “Regulation of Data Security” at Loyola University Chicago Consumer Law Review’s Symposium on Consumer Privacy and Data Collection
  • March 2014: Witness at legislative hearings on “patent trolls” before the Judiciary Committees for the Illinois Senate and House of Representatives
  • September 2013: Speaker on a panel titled, “Framing Big Data and Privacy” at a conference cohosted by the Future of Privacy Forum and the Stanford Center for Internet and Society
  • March 2013: Speaker on a panel titled, “The Data-Driven Way of Life: Threats and Solutions” at the Direct Marketing Association’s “DMA in DC 2013” Program
  • February 2013: Speaker on a panel titled, “Cyber Warriors: What do they do and how do we get more of them?” at the TechVoice DC Fly-In hosted by CompTIA
  • January 2013: Speaker in a breakout session on “Plumbing the Policy Implications of Data Analytics and Defining ‘Big Data,’ the Year’s Most Overused Term” for the State of the Net Conference hosted by the Congressional Internet Caucus Advisory Committee
  • February 2012: Speaker in a webcast for Continuing Legal Education (CLE) credit on “Congressional Investigations 2012: How to Prepare for the Investigative Agenda in the New Year” hosted by Gibson Dunn LLP
  • May 2011: Featured speaker at the Federal Trade Commission’s Forum on “Examining Telephone Bill Cramming” and spoke on a panel, “Potential Solutions to the Cramming Problem”



P 202.383.3411
Outlook vCard


Washington, DC, 2005
Illinois, 2004


J.D., University of Michigan Law School, 2004
B.S.,Southern Illinois University – Edwardsville, 2001


FTC & Consumer Protection
Internet of Things
Privacy, Data Protection & Cybersecurity
State Regulation
PDF Version