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New NSA Civil Liberties and Privacy Officer Rebecca Richards, CIPP/US, CIPP/G, has long been an active member of the IAPP. She spoke at the very first IAPP Privacy and Data Security Academy back in 2003, when she was serving as director of policy and compliance at TRUSTe, and has spoken at nearly a dozen conferences and events for the IAPP since then. She was also a member of the IAPP’s inaugural Education Advisory Board, launched in 2007 to help guide the programming of the Global Privacy Summit and the IAPP’s major conferences throughout the rest of the year.

It makes sense, then, that she has chosen to make her first public speaking appearance at this year’s Global Privacy Summit.

Part of the Conversations in Privacy Series, held on the main stage, she will take part in a Q&A with Daniel Weitzner, current director of MIT’s CSAIL Decentralized Information Group, last year’s winner of the IAPP’s Privacy Leadership Award and former deputy chief technology officer for Internet Policy at the White House, at 3:45 on Thursday, March 6.

Since U.S. President Barack Obama’s August announcement that the NSA would create a new position to oversee civil liberties and privacy efforts at the NSA, there has been speculation about what the role will entail and how seriously NSA leadership will take the position. Now, for the first time, Richards will outline the answers to some of those questions.

Richards will outline for Americans and the world “what our intelligence community does and what it doesn't do,” said President Obama at the time, “how it carries out its mission and why it does so.”

Can there really be transparency at an organization like the NSA, though? Will there be respect in the NSA building for the CPO?

Attendees of Richards’ and Weitzner’s conversation may get an inkling.

“We are thrilled to have Rebecca Richards join the list of speakers at the IAPP Global Privacy Summit this year,” said Trevor Hughes, CIPP, president and CEO of the IAPP. “Our conferences continue to offer privacy professionals a venue to connect and debate the future of the privacy profession.”

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Sam Pfeifle

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