By Sam Pfeifle
As the inaugural IAPP Westin Research Fellows Kelsey Finch and Dennis Holmes prepare for life after Portsmouth, NH, the IAPP is proud to announce our second batch of newly graduated students looking to continue their studies in privacy. Patricia Bailin, coming from Tufts’ Fletcher School of Law & Diplomacy, and Arielle Brown of the University of Colorado School of Law will join the IAPP Westin Research Center this fall after wrapping up their current studies.
Bailin’s interest in privacy was triggered by a philosophy seminar on the subject while an undergrad at Wellesley College, where she was majoring in international relations. “On the first day of class,” she remembers, “our professor introduced us all to each other using information she’d collected from the Internet about us. It was discomforting. That was kind of my introduction to it all.”
Brown got sucked in via the Journal on Telecommunications and High Technology at UC-Boulder. The Silicon Flatirons Center works closely with the publication, and so Brown, who joined as a second-year law student, soon found herself immersed in privacy papers. That led to Paul Ohm’s privacy crash course, which sparked an interest that manifested in her becoming editor of the journal, research assistant to Ohm and a frequent attendee of privacy conferences.
“The more events you attend,” she says, “and hear the leaders in the industry talk so passionately about the issues, you can’t help but get enthusiastic.”
That enthusiasm, she hopes, will be channeled at the Westin Center into research into the intersection of telecommunications and privacy—even the new questions surrounding drones and, of course, data collection and use and best practices being developed by industry.
The latter is something that Bailin has seen firsthand, from time spent at Acxiom as a summer associate, working with the likes of Jennifer Barrett Glasgow, CIPP/US, and Sheila Colclasure, CIPP/US. They introduced her to the world of IAPP conferences and inspired her to do her thesis on data privacy regulatory frameworks for protecting consumer information. With her time at the Westin Center, she hopes to investigate how privacy policies are developed at high-tech firms that are forced to deal on a daily basis with changing regulatory environments and ambiguous direction.
“I can theoretically separate all the different types of data and how that data should be handled,” she says by way of example, “but the way the data gets used now means it can’t really be isolated that way. That has to be frustrating for companies that have to navigate all of the rules and still have a business model that functions.”
Both new fellows ought to appreciate their new environs. Bailin is a runner; Brown is a Montanan, raised on hiking, rafting and skiing. “I attempt to fly fish,” she laughs, “but I’m not good.”
Maybe Bailin can even get up to Portland, ME, and see if she can satisfy through the city’s foodie culture one of the things she misses most of her childhood home in the south: “Very good barbeque and biscuits.”
Just add that to the list of research topics.