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Janet McCoy serves as chief privacy officer for Sovereign Bank. As the bank's chief privacy officer, McCoy is responsible for developing and implementing Sovereign's policy on customer privacy and oversees the integration of all privacy-related initiatives throughout Sovereign. McCoy also serves as director of strategic plan management for the community banking division, where she is currently focused on customer service initiatives.

Prior to this position, McCoy served as manager for Sovereign's advertising, business marketing, and consumer marketing groups. Prior to working at Sovereign Bank, McCoy was regional marketing manager for CoreStates Bank and commercial marketing manager for Meridian Bank.

McCoy is a founding board member of the International Association of Privacy Professionals and serves as secretary of the board. She heads Sovereign's internal Privacy Council and often speaks at leading industry conferences and seminars on privacy. McCoy is also past president of the board of directors of Clare House, a nonprofit transitional home for women and children in Lancaster, Pa., and serves on the board development committee for the Foundation for Ichthyosis and Related Skin Types. She holds a bachelor of arts in economics from Lehigh University and resides in East Petersburg, Pa.

Privacy Officers Advisor: Describe your organization and corporate environment.

McCoy: Sovereign Bancorp Inc., headquartered in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, is the parent company of Sovereign Bank, a $41 billion financial institution with approximately 525 community banking offices, nearly 1,000 ATMs, and about 8,000 team members in Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, and Rhode Island. Sovereign Bank is one of the top 25 largest banking institutions in the United States.

POA: How did your career path lead you toward the privacy profession?

McCoy: When Sovereign decided to name a privacy officer, we looked towards someone who would understand the ways the various business lines obtained and used our customers' data. I had over 10 years' experience managing marketing teams in the financial industry and was selected for this position.

POA: What is the most challenging aspect of your current position?

McCoy: Continuing to find ways to communicate the changing privacy trends and laws within Sovereign in a way that is interesting to our team members.

POA: What is the most satisfying part of being a privacy professional?

McCoy: Knowing we're helping our customers.

What privacy issues most affect the industry your organization is in?

McCoy: Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act and the do-not-call and e-mail issues

POA: How have developments in privacy law, technology, and policy changed life within your organization?

McCoy: At Sovereign we've always viewed privacy as a key element in the financial business. Recent developments in privacy law, technology, and policy have created a more focused view for us to use when creating and changing policies and procedures and communicating with our customers.

POA: What do you see as the biggest issues facing the privacy profession in the near and short-term?

McCoy: Continuing to find effective ways to keep abreast of the changing laws and best practices. This is one reason why I find such value in the International Association of Privacy Professionals.


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