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You may think the hottest topics in privacy are the Schrems ruling or the release of the Trans-Pacific Partnership’s contents─and, well, you’d be right. But in the IAPP offices, the big news is our switch from paper certificates to digital documents that certifcants can personalize. Seriously, it’s true!

“I think it’s clear from our research that the IAPP certificates are kind of becoming an integral part of our certificants’ careers,” said Doug Forman, IAPP director of certification. “We wanted to offer a tool that was commensurate with that increasing stature of our certs in the marketplace.”

To make the switch, the IAPP allied with online credential provider Accredible, which permits users to tailor their digital certificate to reflect their unique accomplishments by linking up to YouTube presentations or white papers, if they so choose, and to share their accomplishment electronically with greater ease. “That’s what attracted us to this, apart from the increased efficiency internally: the ability to fashion a portable CV, something that (certifcants) can easily share,” Forman said.

While certified individuals are entitled to a complimentary digital certificate for each one of their credentials, they are in no way forced to accept. “You can entirely opt out,” Forman said, noting that if a certificant decides to forgo the certificate, he or she should reach out to the certification team immediately. “We’re giving people a week … to contact us if they don’t want to be a part of the program,” he said, adding that certificants should now be able to access their digital certificates and certainly by the end of the week.

For those on the fence about the privacy implications of the program, Forman was quick to quell any fears. “Accredible is very conscientious about their privacy,” he continued, adding that he understood privacy professionals might be sensitive about sharing information with a third party vendor. “We spent a long time talking to Accredible and looking into how they share their information, and we know they are a reputable partner and have a track record of responsible stewardship of information that they have,” Forman said.

Certificants, who have already been notified about the impending switch, seem to be excited. “We’ve already had many calls with people saying, ‘Can I get this now?’ and ‘I want to be able to share this with a potential employer,’” Forman said. Additionally, the step is one that heightens the level of sophistication to the certification program at the IAPP. Digital certificates are “in line with what’s happening in the certification industry,” Forman said. “Other companies are moving to digital certificates” due to their user-friendly nature alone, he continued.

“I’m feeling excited for our members and confident that this will help them promote their accomplishments in the privacy space,” Forman said.

1 Comment

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  • comment Cathleen Harris • Nov 19, 2015
    This is a great new initiative that supports our technological times. Nicely written, Courtney.