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Privacy Engineering Section | Who should join the IAPP Privacy Engineering Section Related reading: Canadian Parliament's Bill C-27 hearing delves deeper into AIDA



Privacy engineering is big, but it will be even bigger in coming years. In 2013, Peter Swire and I found almost nothing written about privacy engineering. We wrote for the IAPP about the differences between lawyers and engineers in privacy protection and the need to create teams that draw upon the best of both disciplines.

Flash forward five years. In January, the IAPP announced the creation of the new Privacy Engineering Section. On March 29, the day after the Global Summit, we will host our inaugural Section Forum. The time has come.

We are only just beginning to define this emerging field and we want you to be a part of that process. Today, roughly 40 percent of IAPP membership are lawyers who may want to join the Privacy Bar Section. For the remaining majority, we hope a large number will find a home in the Privacy Engineering Section. If your work in any way engages you in either developing, assessing or using methodologies, tools and techniques that seek to engineer privacy into systems, the IAPP Privacy Engineering Section is for you.  

J. Trevor Hughes, CIPP, IAPP president and CEO, has yet again demonstrated his vision for our profession by standing up the Privacy Engineering Section to get ahead of this emerging field. With your help, we aspire to better define the field of privacy engineering, create a visionary curriculum, consider what a certification might look like, and create opportunities for lifelong learning to support our membership.

The March 29 Forum has been put together by the Section’s Advisory Board, a team of accomplished individuals from academia, government and industry. With the professional support of the IAPP’s conference planning team, the Board, which IAPP has asked me to chair, has put together an action-packed morning focused on the key aspects of privacy engineering.  

We’ve structured the morning around three themes and a breakout session. We seek to elicit your thoughts about where this emerging field is headed and how we can better support your professional development.

The Industry View will give you a real-world discussion of privacy engineering on the ground. Jonathan Fox (co-author of The Privacy Engineer’s Manifesto) will moderate our first panel with three individuals with privacy engineering experience at companies ranging from small startups to large IT companies. Their experiences and anecdotes will help us tackle the questions of what is privacy engineering and what are the challenges and success that companies of various sizes are facing in implementing privacy engineering solutions.

The Regulators’ View is timely given how much our community is focused on complying with regulations, especially the EU General Data Protection Regulation. Regulators are increasingly having to understand how technology actually works in order to be able to assess risk in systems that contain personal information. The panel will be moderated by Jonathan Meyer, trained as both a computer scientist and lawyer and soon a professor of Computer Science and Public Affairs at Princeton. The panelists feature leading European and U.S. regulators. Our regulator/technologist panelists will describe what they have observed to be good examples of addressing privacy concerns with good engineering.

The Researchers’ View is important given how much work is needed to advance the new field, whether in academia, government, or industry. The moderator will be Naomi Lefkovitz, senior privacy policy adviser at National Institute of Standards and Technology. She brings a wealth of experience and context to lead this discussion with outstanding privacy engineer researchers and a federal funding sponsor. You can expect this panel to help push us to the bleeding edge by discussing the latest privacy engineering research with insights into global privacy engineering research priorities for the coming years.

The Working Session will cap the day. This session is possibly the most important because it’s the time when we get to hear from each of you. Please join us to share your thoughts about: What training, tools, and background will best prepare professionals to be privacy engineers? Where do privacy engineers fit into the organization and what are their principal responsibilities? What value can privacy engineers bring to their organizations and how can that value be made clear? What can the new Section provide that will help you meet your professional goals?

The entire IAPP has grown remarkably in recent years and now has reached more than 30,000 members. We know that action through privacy engineering will be a remarkable growth area in the coming years. Come join us as we shape this exciting and emerging field. 

photo credit: kin.lane integrated microchip via photopin (license)


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