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This month's edition of Inside 1to1: PRIVACY tells the story of how, about a decade ago, an Internet ad company's proposed acquisition of a data aggregation company propelled a privacy firestorm that brought copious attention to the space and launched the careers of some of today's most seasoned privacy professionals.  

The Doubleclick-Abacus merger resulted in the first big information privacy tangle, garnering the attention of industry, advocates and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). Much has changed since then, and much has stayed the same.

We are still seeing concerns about the combination of online and offline data. The FTC still has its eye on data mining--it's a key focus area for the agency's consumer protection division in 2012. And we're still asking questions about data collection and ownership.   

What has changed? In 1999 when the Doubleclick drama was unfolding, there were only a handful of professionals working on data privacy matters. The IAPP had yet to be born. Today, the IAPP is a 10,000-member strong organization. The profession has blossomed into a rich and diverse community.  

Many of our 10,000 members are marketing professionals. Marketers, perhaps even more than those in other fields, are increasingly seeking ways to increase their privacy know-how. Hundreds have sought the Certified Information Privacy Professional (CIPP) credential. Others have sought privacy training. As attention to data privacy increases and enforcers bear down, those who have invested in upping their privacy quotient will be well prepared to face the challenges they will inevitably encounter on the road ahead.  


J. Trevor Hughes, CIPP
President & CEO, IAPP


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