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The Privacy Advisor | Bamberger talks 2016 IAPP Leadership Award Related reading: Mulligan reflects on 2016 IAPP Leadership Award

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At the 2016 IAPP Global Privacy Summit in Washington Wednesday, Kenneth Bamberger of the University of California, Berkeley, received the IAPP 2016 Leadership Award with Deirdre Mulligan for the “groundbreaking” new research that led to their MIT Press-published Privacy on the Ground.

The annual award is presented to those who demonstrated “a commitment to furthering the field of privacy, promoting the recognition of privacy issues, and advancing the growth and facility of the profession,” said the IAPP’s new Executive Board Chair Hilary Wandall, CIPM, CIPP/E, CIPP/US, CPO at Merck.

“What an extraordinary honor it is for the both of us to be receiving this award,” said Bamberger, who gave a keynote address with Mulligan at the Summit. “When we began the research that led to this book, our notion was that the many privacy professionals we knew who had been toiling away mostly behind the scenes at that point for a long time, they would be the entry point, the research avenue into what was going on at the firms,” he continued. “We were interested in knowing what the firms were doing, and luckily, we had all these friends and acquaintances who could open the door.”

Little did he realize, however, that these sources were “much more than the conduit.” Instead “they become the story … the secret element … ‘the special sauce’ to what was going on in privacy in corporations,” he said. Bamberger’s conversations with those in the industry revealed a common theme: “That professionalism should not just be an accident or a byproduct of governance, but in fact needs to be a critical strategy in privacy governance,” he said, and this discovery “became the clear upshot of our research.”

Bamberger was swift to express his gratitude towards the two groups whose seminal support allowed the research to flourish. The Rose Foundation for Communities and the Environment “showed faith in the notion of this project early on,” he said, and their seed money allowed researchers to begin the project. “They were early believers, and I want to give them a word of thanks here.”

He also acknowledged the encouragement of the IAPP. Privacy on the Ground was heavily influenced by "the openness and support and extraordinary nature of the IAPP network,” he said. Without needing much contextual information on the research's trajectory, “Trevor [Hughes, IAPP CEO and president] basically said, ‘whatever doors I can open for you, I will,’” support that proved enormously impactful, Bamberg added. Community resources, such as a Parisian KnowledgeNet where he and Mulligan went to “speak as the experts,” additionally provided them instead with opportunities to gather "granular" concepts and frame certain ideas for their research, he said.

“This book is a testament not just to your work, ... [but] to your caringness, to your tremendous network and family and we’re so glad to be a part of this room,” Bamberger said. 

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