Bullish Outlook for the Privacy Profession

Ernst & Young released its annual privacy report this week predicting that “Organizations are expected to invest more money to protect personal information in response to increased government regulation and enforcement and to stem the rising tide of risk”. The report finds that companies intend to hire highly skilled privacy professionals in 2011 and invest in technical controls that monitor and manage external attacks and internal leaks from within the organization.

The privacy profession is booming. The privacy practice of many large law firms continued to expand even during the financial crisis. (See here Computerworld’s ranking of leading privacy practices from today). IAPP, the privacy professionals’ organization, has grown to approximately 8,000 members and become a global operation. In a recent report titled “A Call for Agility: The Next-Generation Privacy Professional”, IAPP describes the emergence of the new privacy profession; likely trends in the development of the profession over the next decade; and alternative privacy career paths.

For those interested in the development of the privacy profession, the role of the CPO (Chief Privacy Officer), and integration of privacy into corporate governance structures, I highly recommend a recent article by Ken Bamberger and Deirdre Mulligan of Berkeley, “Privacy on the Books and on the Ground”, published in the January 2011 issue of the Stanford Law Review. Also see Bamberger and Mulligan’s

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