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Privacy Perspectives | IAPP statement on racial injustice Related reading: Notes from the IAPP Editorial Director, June 5, 2020




The events of the past weeks have shocked and saddened all of us at the IAPP. The violent deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and too many other Black Americans have reminded us of the deep and systemic malignancy of racism within our society. The violence toward our Black community is inexcusable. The stain of racism is shameful. Both must call us to action.

At the IAPP, we stand in solidarity with those who protest these senseless murders. We join the global voices condemning racism and violence. We share the feelings of grief and anger that so many are experiencing. We believe that Black lives matter.

Diversity and inclusion are central to the values and mission of the IAPP. As a global professional association, we serve a broad and growing community around the world. Our members form a spectrum of national, racial, ethnic, religious and sexual orientation backgrounds, speak in dozens of languages, and have widely divergent political views. Ensuring that those voices — all of those voices — are represented and heard is critical to the vibrancy and depth of our professional community.

But there is more that we can do. 

Over the coming weeks, we will be talking to members and leaders within the IAPP community to ensure that we are living up to our commitments to diversity and inclusion. We will explore new opportunities to improve pathways to our profession for people of color. And we will expand our examination of the implications of privacy and surveillance in the context of racial justice. 

As I have spoken with Black members, board members and staff of the IAPP in the past two weeks, I have been overwhelmed by their sense of despair in the face of current affairs. We have no ready cure for this pain. But we can share the burden and together work toward a better future.  

Photo by Clay Banks on Unsplash

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  • comment Nathaniel Moore • Jun 11, 2020
    Good to hear. I would love to share the implications of privacy law & tech and racial justice with the broader community at Maine Law! Looking forward to seeing what the IAPP puts out!
  • comment Samuel Adams • Jun 11, 2020
    Thank you for this announcement.  I support the IAPP examining what it can do to amplify voices that provide much-needed diversity in the privacy professional community.
  • comment Jenna Coudin • Jun 11, 2020
    Great statement. Thank you, it is well appreciated!
  • comment Nikki Pope • Jun 11, 2020
    Thank you for your support. A discussion on racial bias in predictive policing algorithms would be great. We had a one-day symposium on this topic at Santa Clara Law in October 2019. Things are slowly starting to change, IAPP could amplify the discussion.
  • comment Beth Weber • Jun 11, 2020
    Direct and emphatic statement. Appreciate this.
  • comment Erickrica Hawkins • Jun 12, 2020
    Trevor, this statement and the commitment are deeply appreciated. I would love the opportunity to join in the work. Please let me know how I can help!
  • comment Simisola Belo • Jun 12, 2020
    Well done for making a statement.  
    I like Nikki Pope's suggestion of the IAPP amplifying discussions on racial bias in predictive policing algorithms.
    Does the IAPP practice affirmative action / positive discrimination / quota-filling etc.? It's necessary for addressing the imbalance. It is regrettably typically labelled as a way of giving some people an unfair advantage, when, in reality, it is actually just a way of keeping the qualified from being unfairly disadvantaged.
    You could also stop perpetuating the use of the term 'people 'of colour'.  It is a relative term where Caucasian skin is the default to be measured against, and therefore actually part of the problem. Yes, some black people now use the term themselves, but that began because being considered as 'coloured' meant that you were of mixed heritage, typically lighter skinned and therefore had a better chance of survival. Part of the journey in humanising the word 'black' should be our use of it over coloured .
  • comment Ulla Pinion • Jun 12, 2020
    I really appreciate this message and would be happy to participate in the work that IAPP will be doing on this issue going forward.
  • comment SHUIXING CHNE • Jun 14, 2020
    Any discrimination is anti-human. The people who are discriminated against cannot even obtain basic fairness and justice. The right to privacy is trampled on at will. We should use the big data analysis to identify the racists in the public authorities  and prevent them from taking over public power and creat more similar incidents.
  • comment Pauline Parra • Jun 15, 2020
    Thank you IAPP for taking this stance, and publically acknowledging there is work to be done.  As a person of color I've lived with racism my entire life. It is something that is embedded in every facet of daily living in the United States and around the world. We cannot easily change hundreds of years of thinking process, societal norms, and personal feelings on the topic. We have to start the dialogue with those we work with, those in our communities, those in our workplace, those in our places of worship, and in government. It seems simple of enough to say, we are all the same, but we've seen too many times where equal treatment is not applied to all. 
    Please include me in whatever commitments you have planned to eradicate systemic racism.  We can all so our small part, and collectively, we can contribute to the greater good of society.
    For those of you that want to connect, you may reach out to me on LinkedIn:
  • comment Karen Rogers-Robinson • Dec 13, 2020
    Following up to see if there are any ongoing discussions as to how data and the use of it can have negative impacts on the Black community and all communities of color in general?
  • comment Jedidiah Bracy • Dec 14, 2020
    Hi Karen, Thanks for your interest and following up on this. Please stay tuned for what the IAPP has been working on and our plans. We are hopeful to announce more in early 2021.