FacultyFaculty/Author Profile
Steven  M. Wernikoff

Steven M. Wernikoff

Honigman Miller Schwartz and Cohn LLP

Chicago, IL, USA


Steve Wernikoff is a partner in the Chicago office of Honigman Miller Schwartz and Cohn LLP where, among other things, he co-leads the firm’s data security and privacy practice.  Prior to joining Honigman, Steve spent 17 years at the Federal Trade Commission, where he:

  • Acted as lead litigation counsel and managed investigations in dozens of civil prosecutions involving a wide range of e-commerce and emerging technology issues, including internet and mobile advertising, credit card and other financial fraud, data privacy and security, spam, and telemarketing;
  • As Enforcement Director of the FTC’s Office of Technology and Investigation, coordinated investigations and civil prosecutions involving mobile and emerging technologies throughout all divisions and regional offices within the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection, including issues involving privacy, data security, emerging payment methods, fraud, big data, and the “internet of things;”
  • Trained U.S., state, and foreign law enforcement attorneys and investigators on the broad range of investigative techniques and legal issues involving mobile and other emerging technology matters;
  • Advised businesses and consumers on privacy and security issues, including co-organizing FTC’s “Start with Security” workshop and Ransomware workshop; and
  • Liaised with international and U.S. federal and state law enforcement agencies, including the FBI, USPIS, US Secret Service, and State Attorneys General on hi-tech investigations.

Steve has substantial experience regarding mobile and emerging technologies, privacy, data security, advertising and marketing, connected devices, and big data matters. He provides counsel and guidance to help clients protect their interests as they navigate the ever-changing technology landscape by, for example:

  • Advising clients on a broad spectrum of privacy, data security, and related consumer protection rules, as well as conforming to best practices and self-regulatory programs;
  • Counseling clients on advertising, marketing, and other e-commerce compliance matters, including email and mobile marketing, advertising substantiation, online affiliate and influencer marketing, and telemarketing; and
  • Defending clients in law enforcement investigations and litigation involving a wide range of regulatory and consumer protection issues, including privacy, data security, advertising, marketing, and e-commerce.

Steve also has served as an adjunct faculty member at Northwestern University School of Law and John Marshall Law School, where he taught courses involving internet fraud, online advertising and privacy issues.  Prior to working at the FTC, he held two federal clerkships in the Northern District of Illinois, and was a litigator at Jenner & Block in Chicago.  Steve earned a J.D. from Northwestern University School of Law and a B.A. in Journalism from Pennsylvania State University.

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