When she joined BBB National Programs in August 2017 as vice president of its Children’s Advertising Review Unit, Dona Fraser said she saw an opportunity to expand beyond the organization’s domestic focus.
“We’re dealing with all these multinational companies, especially in the children’s space, who want to do these really great programs and robust entertainment, edutainment, but outside of the four walls of the U.S., how do we help them do that?” she said. “We should be one-stop-shopping for these companies with regard to how they are building their internal privacy practices and their programs.”
With support from BBB National Programs President and CEO Eric Reicin, Fraser is leading that effort, having recently been promoted to the newly created position of senior vice president for Privacy Initiatives. Fraser, in turn, appointed Josh Harris as director of Global Privacy Initiatives to help build the international strategy for the nonprofit organization that oversees more than a dozen industry self-regulation programs.
“We’re both very excited about the potential,” Fraser said. “Being able to have someone with Josh’s background and extensive knowledge in this space help us build out an international program, whatever it looks like, is a boon for our organization but also for the companies we partner with, for our stakeholders. I think that this shows that we are committed to this and that we really want to find a way to help them achieve their end goal.”
Harris most recently served as director of international regulatory affairs at TrustArc and previously served in several roles at the U.S. Department of Commerce on international trade matters. This opportunity “made perfect sense,” he said, given his background in working on international privacy issues and interoperability.
“We can think of ways in which to help facilitate international transfers and international compliance in ways that are possible and it’s exciting to be a part of BBB National Programs right now because we’re very much in this stage of thinking creatively, what can we do, how can we do it differently, how can we help facilitate these transactions for these companies,” he said.
While compliance with the Court of Justice of the European Union’s recent ruling in “Schrems II” is receiving much attention in the privacy space — and deservedly so — Harris said legislative work in India, Brazil and elsewhere “presents all kinds of really interesting possibilities.”
“Creating those foundational building blocks is really what we’re looking forward to,” Fraser said. “How do we help companies who say 'I’ve done all of this; what more do I need to do in this area?' For us to be able to be at the table of conversations regarding how to do this is really what our sweet spot is.”
With BBB National Programs’ privacy team to turn to — including members of the BBB EU Privacy Shield program, Children’s Advertising Review Unit, and Digital Advertising Accountability Program — Fraser said, “I feel like I have this all-star team.”
“They are all so deeply interested in privacy in all aspects. ... We have a brain trust, a really huge, great brain trust of people who are really just eager to get to work,” she said. “They are gracious and eager and ready to embrace the new opportunities because there’s work for everybody. There’s more than enough to go around.”
For now and in the coming months, Fraser and Harris are in the exploratory phase, considering possibilities.
“Given the team and resources and everything that we have, that’s the first step. What can we do, what would be best for membership, what would be a positive contribution to the privacy community? Let’s see what that looks like,” he said. “Once we’ve identified that punch list then we’ve got to land the plane and build out what we are talking about.”
He anticipates that plan starting to come to fruition by the start of 2021.
“Whatever we have been in the kitchen cooking up will be ready, and we’ll be able to sort of unveil it for everybody to see,” he said. “Hopefully, it’s the kind of service that not only furthers the mission of BBB National Programs, but also furthers the work of the privacy community.”
Photo by Fernando @cferdo on Unsplash
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