About the Westin Research Center

The IAPP Westin Research Center was created in 2013 to encourage, enable and produce practical, applicable research and scholarship in privacy. Named for Dr. Alan Westin, a foundational scholar in the field of privacy, the IAPP Westin Research Center serves as a pathway for future leaders who aspire to join the privacy community.

Each year, the IAPP Westin Research Center welcomes recent graduates to apply for our Westin Fellowship program. Accepted applicants will spend 12 months in our offices in Portsmouth, NH, where they will work on a broad array of privacy research projects, with a view of supporting the growth and development of the privacy profession and furthering understanding of the major privacy issues. More information on the IAPP Westin Fellowship program is available here.

As part of the IAPP Westin Research Center, the IAPP maintains the Westin Research Library, which contains Dr. Alan Westin’s collected life work, along with his substantial collection of privacy-related literature, including research, fiction and art.

The library, which represents a treasure trove of privacy thought and scholarship, is housed in the IAPP offices in Portsmouth, NH. It includes everything from omnibus works about international privacy law to popular items like Internet Privacy for Dummies. The collection also includes a number of rare or out-of-print titles, including some of Westin’s own published books.

About Dr. Alan Westin

Throughout his life, Dr. Westin thought, wrote and talked about privacy, data protection, digital identity and the future of how societies will deal with the many difficult questions around how to maintain technological and business innovation while protecting fundamental individual rights. In his spirit, the members of the IAPP Westin Research Center work to further the body of knowledge of privacy professionals and society at large.

Throughout his career, Dr. Westin focused on studying, writing and consulting about the impact of information technology on individuals, organizations and society, particularly issues of privacy and sound data management. His award-winning book, Privacy and Freedom, is still considered one of the leading works in this field and has influenced both privacy thinking and practical activity worldwide since its publication in 1967.


Dr. Westin was professor emeritus of public law and government at Columbia University, where he taught for 37 years. In 2005, he received the IAPP Privacy Leadership Award.

In addition to Privacy and Freedom, his other works on privacy include Databanks in a Free Society (1972) with Michael Baker for the National Academy of Sciences; two monographs for the U.S. National Bureau of Standards on Computers, Health Records, and Citizen Rights (1976) and Computers, Personnel Administration, and Citizen Rights (1979); and numerous law review articles.


Video Tribute to Dr. Alan Westin