Press Release
Press Contact: Irene Oujo
2 University Plaza, Hackensack, NJ 07601
Phone: 201.996.1154 Fax: 201.996.1883

For Immediate Release

Association of Corporate Privacy Officers Launched

Hackensack, NJ Company leaders in an array of industries, both on and offline, have been instrumental in the launch of a new association of corporate privacy officers. The Association of Corporate Privacy Officers (ACPO) has been incorporated in New Jersey as an independent, non-profit professional organization. ACPO is as an outgrowth of Privacy & American Business' CPO 2000 Program headed by Dr. Alan F. Westin, the leading global authority on privacy.

Westin, President and Publisher of P&AB, said Privacy is now a top-tier issue with consumers online and offline. Formation of ACPO is recognition that the corporate world understands this too, and is institutionalizing the position within their organizations. Within a short time, every sensible company will have a CPO on its management team.

It is also recognition that practitioners themselves believe there is a need and a place for professional development that will provide on-going training for themselves and a place to grow a pool of professional privacy officers to meet the rising demand by smart companies from across all industry sectors.

Founding Members of ACPO's Organizing Committee include privacy officers from American Express, Dun & Bradstreet,, Nationwide Insurance, EDS, PriceWaterhouseCoopers, Equifax, Image Data, Citigroup, Mutual of Omaha, Bell Atlantic, Delta Airlines, Royal Bank, Sabre, Inc., Studio Legale Imperiale, etc. There will be an opportunity September 19-20 at the second meeting of P&AB's CPO 2000 Program in Washington, D.C. for additional CPOs to join the Organizing Committee to shape the ACPO in meeting the most important needs and interests of CPOs today.

Peter Swire, Chief Counselor to the President on privacy and a speaker at the first meeting and workshop of P&AB's CPO 2000 Program commented, As privacy becomes an increasingly salient issue to companies, it becomes ever more important to have professionals who understand privacy issues well.

The ACPO as a private, non-profit professional association for corporate privacy officers, has as its mission to provide support and services to its members, with a focus on their professional development, recognition and accreditation for this new corporate position. ACPO offers its members opportunities and activities directed at helping them master the issues pertinent to the rapidly evolving field of consumer privacy and data protection. ACPO also provides members with the critical tools needed to formulate practical solutions to the challenges posed by privacy-related issues in the corporate environment.

Because privacy issues may arise in any sector of commerce, membership in ACPO includes on and offline companies across a range of industries and sectors, including high technology, financial services, medical and pharmaceutical, telecommunications, insurance, travel, etc. Through workshops, seminars and annual meetings, ACPO members will receive briefings on important legislative developments in the privacy arena so that they may anticipate potential legal and/or regulatory issues. ACPO will also provide members with education and training to give them the practical strategies and techniques they need to handle such issues and challenges. ACPO will serve as a clearinghouse of privacy-related information, apprising members of the latest news and trends in the corporate privacy field through ACPO publications, e-communications and through the maintenance of a website at Members will also attain other professional benefits, including corporate privacy officer certification, professional recognition from other members for leadership and/or accomplishments in the privacy field, and networking opportunities with peers. Finally, ACPO will provide all those other customary perquisites provided by professional associations, including salary benchmarks, a template for job descriptions and information on placement within the corporate structure.

P&AB's CPO 2000 Program and the formation of the ACPO has attracted interest from an array of U.S. and multinational companies across industries in traditional and e-commerce operations. Westin said, The creation of the Corporate Privacy Officer is a turning point for the institutionalization of this new corporate position.

He was joined in this view by David Medine, Associate Director for the Division of Credit Practices at the Federal Trade Commission, who said, In this environment, every consumer-oriented company should seriously consider appointing a Corporate Privacy Officer to help guide the company effectively in developing and implementing fair information practices.

AboutP&AB's CPO 2000 Program

New government regulations and legislation pending at home and abroad have been sparked by rising consumer concern, a business environment swiftly shifting from traditional to new online venues and plain business sense. This has compelled businesses to address consumer privacy in new ways. One of those ways is to designate a company officer whose main function is to oversee and coordinate all of the organization's activities with privacy implications. This is a relatively new position in most companies where the scope of action is not static, the practical tools and policies needed are not yet formed, the information resources are being developed (sometimes on the run), and interaction and timely information are vital.

P&AB's Chief Privacy Officer 2000 Program is a complete year `round program that provides briefings, reports, alerts, networking activities, workshops, surveys, white papers, access to online resources, and attendance at P&AB's Seventh Annual National Conference and Workshop. The Program is directed by Alan Westin recognized as the foremost authority on privacy, and Robert Belair, a Washington-based attorney and expert on privacy, and is conducted by the non-profit Privacy & American Business, the nation's leading business-focused privacy think tank. The CPO 2000 Program is designed to give CPOs access to the thinking of the decision makers, corporate leaders, government officials, lawmakers, and experts. It also offers them the critical tools and strategies they will need to understand, craft, direct, and communicate their approaches and policies inside and outside their organizations.

Centered on consumer privacy, P&AB's multi-industry Program supports CPOs in all aspects of their work. CPOs, many of whom report to top corporate officers, are already involved in: developing privacy taskforces that draw together the legal, technical, marketing, and operational staff to make, coordinate, and implement policy and activities; finding and setting the ground rules for conducting privacy audits; ensuring that their companies are compliant with current laws; keeping company employees abreast of new developments that affect them; speaking for the company to the media and before governmental bodies; and above all, maintaining consistency, credibility, and trust within and outside their organizations.

As Richard Purcell, Microsoft CPO said, This [position] represents a transition to an active corporate stance on privacy. It is no longer a case of defensive risk management, but recognition that privacy is a product that establishes our organization's credibility and trust with consumers and society. Participation in CPO 2000 positions a company to confront and manage privacy internally and externally and, by its visible commitment, to gain deserved public and customer recognition. Privacy & American Business' kicked off its CPO 2000 Program June 5-6 in Washington, D.C. And by demand will reprise the two-day conference and workshop September 19-20 at the Washington Marriott. A full description of the program can be found here.

About Privacy & American Business

Privacy & American Business is an activity of the non-profit Center for Social & Legal Research. P&AB has been the most often quoted, authoritative, and credible voice in the privacy arena since 1993 when the publication debuted. P&AB speaks to business about privacy and data protection issues both domestic and global and assists in understanding the issues and developing policies that balance the need to use personal information with the concerns of individuals whose information is being used. P&AB publishes a bi-monthly newsletter/report, conducts an Annual National Conference (scheduled this year for November 28-30 in Washington, D.C.), commissions surveys that promote the understanding of consumer privacy issues by business, directs projects to assist businesses in grasping the meaning of and addressing the rising privacy issues driven by the new technologies worldwide, and reports on useful materials and publications. P&AB conducts special projects and is now assisting business and governments in addressing the EU Data Protection Directive and other national privacy initiatives, leads a Model Contracts Program, a Global Privacy Project, and a Corporate Privacy Leadership Program. Additionally, P&AB is addressing the complexities of transferring HR data across national boundaries. More information about P&AB and its projects are available at two websites which P&AB maintains:, an institutional website, and, a free global reference library and resource on privacy and data protection in the U.S. and abroad. Or, contact David Ciauro, Corporate Projects, or Lorrie Sherwood, Executive Director at (201) 996-1154 or .

P&AB is on the cutting edge of emerging privacy and data protection issues. P&AB's readers and program participants are the policy-making leaders from business, U.S. and international governments, leading industry associations, and academia.

About Alan Westin and Robert Belair

In a recent article, The Wall Street Journal described Alan Westin as the keenest observer of public attitudes toward privacy in the 20th Century. He has served as professor of public law and government at Columbia University since 1959. He is the author of Privacy and Freedom (1967), Databanks in a Free Society (1972), and Computers, Health Records, and Citizen Rights (1976). Each has been predictive of the privacy revolution now in progress. He assisted Congress in writing the Privacy Act of 1974. Westin also is the president, publisher and editor of Privacy & American Business.

Robert Belair,, vice president and a senior editor of P&AB is one of only a handful of Washington-based attorneys specializing in privacy and freedom of information law. He has extensive experience working with Congress on privacy issues as a staffer and as counsel for major committees and commissions. He is a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee's Advisory Panel, and drafted the amicus brief in the Supreme Court's landmark privacy decision, Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press vs Department of Justice. His roles in government and as a consultant to business, provides him with unique insights into the legal and legislative processes affecting both governments and business.

Lorrie Sherwood, Executive Director
Privacy & American Business
2 University Plaza, Suite 414
Hackensack, NJ 07601
Phone: 201.996.1154 FAX: 201.996.1883