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Talking Privacy and Public Policy with IAPP President and CEO J. Trevor Hughes

Earlier this year, the IAPP held its annual Global Privacy Summit in Washington, D.C., where attendees heard from industry leaders discussing the most pressing issues facing privacy and data protection professionals today.  In particular, new FTC Chair Edith Ramirez delivered a special keynote address in which she  vowed to maintain a hard line on Internet—and particularly mobile—security.  And IAPP President and CEO J. Trevor Hughes announced the creation of the Westin Fellowship Program and the addition of the Certified Information Privacy Manager (CIPM) designation.


The conference included two sessions devoted to cyber policy: The 411 on Cybersecurity, Information Sharing and Privacy and Covering All Angles: How the DoD Integrates Privacy from the Top Down.


The 411 session provided a brief overview of a network security program, discussed federal legislative, executive, and administrative efforts to protect cybersecurity, and explored the legal and policy issues arising from the implementation of the national cybersecurity program.  The DoD session revealed the inner-workings of the DoD’s public-/private-sector privacy program, highlighted the differences between federal and commercial privacy regulatory authorities, and explored the ramifications of privacy breaches in the public and private sectors.


From industry-leading CIOs to internationally-renowned cyber attorneys, privacy leaders of all stripes gathered to share wide-ranging experiences and insight.


“It is important for privacy professionals to understand the business implications associated with state and federal cyber policy,” said Fernando Pinguelo, who chairs Scarinci Hollenbeck’s Cyber Security and Data Protection and Crisis Management groups.  “Consequently, we focus our attention and resources not only on the breach response aspect of cyber security and data protection, but also on policy making .  This includes sharing my and my clients’ experiences with federal and state policy makers in a collaborative way.  Ultimately, the goal is to assist in developing thoughtful legislation that addresses the business realities necessary to the survival of the private sector.”


We also caught up with IAPP President and CEO J. Trevor Hughes to discuss the conference and assess the current cyber policy landscape in Washington, D.C.


J. Trevor Hughes is the president and CEO of the International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP). In this role, Hughes leads the world’s largest association of privacy professionals.  A native of Canada, Hughes is an experienced attorney in privacy, technology and marketing law.  He has provided testimony before the U.S. Congress Commerce Committee, the Senate Commerce Committee, the Federal Trade Commission, the Home Affairs Committee of the British Parliament and the EU Parliament on issues of privacy, surveillance, spam and privacy-sensitive technologies.  He is also an adjunct professor of law at the University of Maine School of Law.







How would you describe the goals and outcome of this conference as compared to ones in the past?


Our mission for the International Association of Privacy Professionals is to provide valuable information that will help define and further the growth of the privacy profession. The conference allows us to reach that goal by giving privacy experts from around the world an opportunity to connect, share insights and discuss the challenges we are seeing in today’s privacy landscape.


This year in Washington DC, we introduced the Certified Information Privacy Manager (CIPM), a new certification that focuses on how to operationalize privacy within an organization. We also launched the Westin Fellowship Program, which is the first program that supports the new Research and Education initiative at IAPP. This program supports the growth and development of recent graduates in the privacy profession.  We will welcome two fellows beginning in August.


These announcements showcase the continued growth of IAPP and importance of the association to the constantly changing privacy and data security landscape.


In your opinion, what are 3 issues in data privacy and cybersecurity that POTUS must address immediately? What are the biggest challenges or obstacles facing POTUS in pursuing each of these? What are the solutions?


I look at this from the perspective of what are the biggest challenges facing the industry. The evolving privacy and data security landscape combined with emerging technology has resulted in increasing threats against private and public sectors. This has quickly raised discussions within the government on what solutions need to be put in place to strengthen the nations defenses against these attacks.


Despite every new framework or solution suggested, with emerging technology so far ahead than the public policy process we will never be able to establish an all-encompassing solution from a law perspective. Companies must balance the potential privacy risks with the opportunities to extract great value from the data. Privacy professionals are key to navigating the complexities of the evolving environment and can ensure open doors for data to stream responsibly.


I think it’s important to continue gathering the industry to discuss these important issues. In fact we will be hosting a day-long conference that is intended to discuss and look at these types of critical issues that are impacting the landscape and public policy, along with possible solutions. IAPP Navigate will be held on June 21 in Portsmouth, New Hampshire.




eWhite House Watch features concise updates on cyber policy issued by the Office of the President of the United States (POTUS).  Follow us on Twitter at @eWHW_Blog

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