Greeting from Newfields, New Hampshire!
I wanted to take my turn with the pen this week to follow up on IAPP President and CEO J. Trevor Hughes’ Privacy Perspectives post reflecting on the feats and evolution of the privacy industry and our organization. Trevor's examples of unparalleled growth in the industry — some of which have come while face-to-face with the pandemic — are certainly worth marveling at, and frankly, I’ve been doing just that during this first year and a half working at the IAPP.
For a little perspective on why I’m so awestruck, I spent six years writing for newspapers prior to joining the IAPP. While my passion for reporting never wavered, the newspaper business itself was hardly thriving and sadly remains lost as it tries charting a path forward in the digital era. The lack of progressive thinking and solutions towards remaining vibrant was a sobering reality, but I digress.
I entered the privacy space in 2019 hoping that it would keep me as busy and engaged as I was with the 24-hour news cycle, but really unsure because I knew so little about data privacy and its global reach. While I haven’t seen the 20 years of developments Trevor and others have, it didn’t take long to realize my appetite for engagement, learning and enjoyment would be fulfilled and then some, and I’m happy to report that remains the case today.
Awareness and advocacy are certainly keys to privacy’s move to center stage, but I also see the results of progressive thinking. Big ideas are required to best address data privacy issues or compliance efforts. Addressing those tasks properly also demands receptiveness and adaptability, which privacy pros continue to show a willingness to provide. It all amounts to a continually evolving recipe for success.
What’s most noteworthy about how far privacy has come is that we’re still only scratching the surface here in the U.S. Much of my first year at the IAPP was spent watching the preparations and hype related to the California Consumer Privacy Act. Now we’re bracing for November’s vote on the California Privacy Rights Act and trying to wrap our minds around the next steps for EU-U.S. data transfers, among other complex issues. Then there’s always the looming, yet elusive, potential for U.S. lawmakers to finally come through with federal privacy legislation.
With all these possibilities on the horizon, I can’t help but let Frank Sinatra’s “The Best is Yet to Come” ring in my ears and truly believe that we “ain’t seen nothing yet.”
Be well, my friends.
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