Lindsey Tonsager

Lindsey L. Tonsager

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Covington & Burling LLP
One Front Street
San Francisco, CA 94111-5356
Tel: +1 415 591 7061



  • University of Minnesota Law School, J.D., 2007
    • magna cum laude
    • University of Minnesota Law Review, Lead Note & Comment Editor
    • Order of the Coif
  • University of Pennsylvania, B.A., 2004
    • magna cum laude

Bar Admissions

  • California
  • District of Columbia
  • Maryland

Lindsey Tonsager represents clients in policy and adjudicatory proceedings before the U.S. Congress, Federal Trade Commission, Federal Communications Commission, and Copyright Royalty Board.  In addition to assisting clients engage strategically with regulators on a proactive basis, she has experience helping clients respond to informal investigations and enforcement actions.

Ms. Tonsager advises clients on a broad range of regulatory issues, including spectrum policy, accessibility requirements, cable and satellite carriage rules, compulsory copyright license regimes, the use of endorsements and testimonials in advertising, and the laws governing the collection of personal information from children online, behavioral advertising, e-mail marketing, telecommunications and new technologies.

Ms. Tonsager also represents clients in a variety of commercial transactions, such as negotiating agreements with third-party service providers and mobile app developers to ensure that robust protections are in place to avoid unauthorized access, use, or disclosure of customer data and other types of confidential information.  She regularly assists clients in developing clear privacy disclosures and policies―including website and mobile app disclosures, terms of use, and internal social media and privacy-by-design policies.

Representative Matters

  • Advised operator of new online technology on compliance with the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act; successfully represented operators of online services in responding to FTC investigations under COPPA; represented leading technology companies in seeking improvements to the FTC’s implementing regulations; and assisted clients in developing practical and innovative COPPA-compliant parental consent mechanisms.
  • Counseled pharmaceutical companies, retailers, and online services in formulating online marketing campaigns that comply with the Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing (CAN-SPAM) Act and implementing regulations.
  • Counseled a major media company on the FTC’s guidance governing .Com Disclosures and online endorsements.
  • Advised technology and media companies regarding the Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act and the FCC’s implementing regulations governing advanced communications services and closed captioning of IP-delivered programming.

Previous Experience

  • Office of Commissioner Adelstein, Federal Communications Commission, Law Clerk (Summer 2005)

Honors and Rankings

  • Washington DC Super Lawyers, Communications "Rising Star" (2013-2015)

Pro Bono

  • Assisted a non-profit organization in executing its social media strategy, including the development of privacy disclosures, terms of use, and an app development agreement.
  • Assisted a non-profit organization to develop an intellectual property policy for its online service.
  • Provided copyright advice to a religious organization concerning its extensive music portfolio.
  • Advised a leading international anti-corruption organization on newsgathering and prepublication review issues.

Memberships and Affiliations

  • Federal Communications Bar Association, Member
  • American Bar Association, Member

Publications and Speeches

  • "Scaling Data Security and Privacy for an Exploding Internet of Things," Inside Counsel (5/12/2015), Co-Author
  • "Control the Chaos: Practical Third-Party Monitoring Strategies for Your Online Ad Campaigns," IAPP Global Privacy Summit (3/5/2015)
  • "New California Privacy Law for 2015: More Than Just an Eraser Button," Bloomberg BNA Social Media Law & Policy Report, Vol. 4, No. 7 (2/17/2015), Co-Author
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