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The Privacy Advisor | Volunteer Spotlight: A conversation with Dorota Kosela Related reading: Volunteer Spotlight: A conversation with Paulina Silva

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In this Volunteer Spotlight, The Privacy Advisor caught up with Dorota Kosela, CIPP/E, CIPM, FIP, the EMEA counsel and data protection officer at financial technology and identity information firm Jumio.

Kosela has a background in data protection law and telecommunication secrecy. She has advised clients on things like international data flows and obligations of telecommunication operators to law enforcement authorities and conducted more data audits than the can probably count at this point. Her volunteer work for the IAPP includes her current role the Women Leading Privacy Advisory Board, but she's also worked on the Language Review and the European Advisory Board. She's also spoken at IAPP conferences, including the Europe Data Protection Conference and the Asia Privacy Forum.

Here, Kosela discusses her work and her role as a mentor to up-and-coming companies. 

The Privacy Advisor: How did you get your start in the world of privacy and data protection?
Kosela: In 2009, when I joined an international telecommunications operator in Warsaw. This is a highly regulated sector so privacy compliance was a crucial part of the legal work, even before the implementation of the [EU General Data Protection Regulation]. My projects involved, among others, negotiating agreements with other mobile network operators. They included the issues of processing of end-user personal data. 

The Privacy Advisor: What are your focuses in your position at Jumio?
Kosela: As the Europe, Middle East and Asia counsel and data protection officer for Jumio, I am responsible for data protection compliance involved with the company’s global presence. I also work with regulations specific for particular sectors serviced by Jumio, such as anti-money laundering laws.

The Privacy Advisor: What’s the most rewarding part about the work you do?
Kosela: I am lucky to work in an emerging field of online identity verification and ways in which it deploys new technologies, such as artificial intelligence. It is also greatly rewarding to work in a company that helps fight online fraud as it becomes ubiquitous in our everyday life. 

Dorota Kosela

The Privacy Advisor: What has been the most trying time in your professional career, and how did you get through it?
Kosela: Technology lawyers need to understand the technical aspects of products and services they advise on. Like many privacy professionals, I don’t have a technical background myself. Continued self-study and close collaboration with colleagues across functional teams have always been crucial in my professional development. They help me broaden my knowledge and enable me to better serve my diverse stakeholder group. 

The Privacy Advisor: One of your specialization fields is telecommunication secrecy. As long as it’s not a secret, can you explain what that field is all about?
Kosela: [For] telecommunication service users, the way they use these services and the content of these communications are covered by telecommunication secrecy. In certain circumstances, public authorities may need to be provided with access to these communications. For instance, in case of lawful interception, enforcement authorities like the police may want to wiretap a person. So basically, it is about cooperating with the public authorities within the limits provided by the law.

The Privacy Advisor: Within your areas of expertise, what’s the one privacy or data protection issue that needs to be addressed the most and why?
Kosela: International privacy compliance is becoming a significant issue for companies operating globally. When expanding into new markets, there may be local privacy regulations in force that can affect your product or service, for instance, restrictions on international data transfers. It’s thus so important to do your research on local laws before entering a new market. 

The Privacy Advisor: Your bio says that you are a mentor to tech-based startups. What made you want to be a mentor, and what’s your best advice to people considering being a mentor?
Kosela: I have been mentoring startups since 2013, initially at T-Mobile’s hub:raum startup accelerator. My motivation was to help developing tech companies grow, knowing their legal environment. Mentoring has become an inspiring learning experience: It not only keeps me up-to-date with the newest developments in tech, but also gives an opportunity to learn about fresh ideas that could build the next unicorn.

My advice to other privacy professionals who want to be involved in mentoring is to look out for technology events in their location and reach out to the organizers. It’s a great lesson to be a mentor and a fun way to meet interesting people from a multitude of backgrounds.

Photo by Keagan Henman on Unsplash

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