Accepting the award, Swire said he’s had a lifelong fascination with the intersection of technology, policy and law and has always loved science fiction, those stories about how people and societies respond to new technological challenges. He likened such stories to what privacy professionals do at their daily jobs.
“We are fortunate to be privacy professionals in this era when privacy is at the center of so many important debates in our society,” he said.
Swire, who is also senior counsel at Alston & Bird and a fellow with the Future of Privacy Forum, said he’s always been drawn to public service and solving real-world problems. He’s done such work during his time as chief counselor for privacy in the Clinton administration, during his efforts to craft a global do-not-track standard and during his time on President Barack Obama’s Review Group on Intelligence and Communications Technology.
“Working on privacy gives me an opportunity to teach, and hopefully inspire, a new generation of students and privacy professionals,” Swire said. “One great pleasure of attending IAPP functions is the opportunity to talk with former students and see how they have grown into leaders in their own right. Today, and moving forward, I feel fortunate to be part of some amazing organizations as we study and address some of the most pressing privacy problems in the world.”
Past winners of the award include the FTC’s Julie Brill; Danny Weitzner of MIT CSAIL, and Malcolm Crompton, CIPP/US, former privacy commissioner of Australia.
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