During the same week the IAPP welcomed its 16,000th member, Santa Clara University (SCU) School of Law responded to the meteoric growth in career opportunities for privacy professionals by launching a new certificate in privacy law that’s among the first of its kind in the nation.
The certificate requires students to complete extensive coursework and professional fieldwork on privacy issues, publish a paper on privacy topics and receive IAPP certification.
“We’re excited about Santa Clara Law’s efforts,” said IAPP VP of Research and Education Omer Tene, adding, “At a time when data is becoming the most valuable currency in the information economy, the need for well-qualified professionals who understand global information management practices and the need to safeguard data is growing exponentially. Our members are eager to welcome these students to the privacy community.”
Through its Privacy Pathways program, the IAPP partners with law schools to promote and encourage privacy education. Back on the East Coast, for example, the IAPP is offering the Information Privacy Summer Institute, coming up in just a few weeks, with the University of Maine School of Law, with classes geared toward lawyers and non-lawyers alike and the opportunity to test for IAPP certification. Through the Privacy Pathways program, Santa Clara Law and the IAPP are working together closely.
SCU School of Law High Tech Law Institute Director Prof. Eric Goldman and Assistant Director Joy Baker Peacock took some time to share their insights on the new certificate with The Privacy Advisor.
“We think the IAPP is the premier organization for privacy professionals, so we view our IAPP collaboration as crucial to our new certificate’s success,” they explained. “We anticipate the IAPP will let students take the certification exams at a reduced cost, will help students find internships with IAPP members and will provide publication opportunities for students. I expect we’ll identify even more collaborative opportunities as our relationship grows.”
And if their experience is any indication, now is the time to go into privacy.
“We’ve seen an explosive growth in the number and complexity of privacy laws, and our local employers have been struggling to keep up. This has created an urgent need among Silicon Valley companies for privacy expertise,” Goldman and Peacock noted. “The law school already has extensive resources to support students who are pursuing privacy careers. Still, we thought it would help students—and employers—to create a certificate to guide students towards developing the range of skills and expertise they need to succeed over their careers.”
That sentiment was echoed by eBay Associate General Counsel and Global Privacy Leader Scott Shipman, CIPP/US.
“Demand by companies for privacy advice is at an all-time high and isn’t showing any signs of slowing,” Shipman said. “However, there aren’t enough trained attorneys in this field. SCU’s focus on this emerging field is of paramount importance to the global companies of Silicon Valley and demonstrates that SCU continues to have its finger on the pulse of the Valley.”
When asked if SCU Law is seeing increased demand for privacy education opportunities, Goldman and Peacock said the school is seeing “a growing number of students who are coming to law school specifically because they are interested in privacy law. As a sign of this growth, this semester our students created a new Privacy Law Student Organization with almost 30 founding members.”
The privacy law certificate will be supported by several Santa Clara Law professors with privacy law expertise, including Goldman, who is an expert on Internet and advertising privacy issues; Dorothy Glancy, a national leader on transportation privacy issues, and Tyler Ochoa, co-author of a leading casebook on publicity rights.
“Santa Clara University and the law school have been addressing cutting-edge privacy issues for a long time,” explained Goldman. SCU Law also works closely with the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics, which co-sponsor the IT, Ethics and Law series that has brought numerous privacy experts to give talks on campus. “The new certificate will keep Santa Clara Law at the forefront of privacy law education,” he said, and students who earn the certificate will demonstrate “they have many of the skills desired by employers seeking to hire privacy law professionals.”
For now, the certificate will be available only to Santa Clara Law students earning their JD degree, but this could be just the beginning, Goldman and Peacock acknowledged, as they are pondering ways to provide privacy certificates or other training to lawyers, engineers and others.
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