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Privacy Gift of the Year

December 27, 2016

It’s been a little while since I excitedly opened a package and had no idea what was inside.  As I opened the box and my eyes scoped the content I literally felt sparkles in my eyes.  I plucked the gift out of the package, hugged it and won’t let go. O My Goodness! I felt joy!

No, I didn’t get my Western Terrier. Not yet. Of course, it won’t come in a 12″ x 15-1⁄2″ FedEx box. Plus, I wouldn’t clutch it that tight.  A “Westie” would leave serious tooth lacerations on my chest (fighting for air). Not pretty.


So, what did I get?

Okay… I remembered that Diane Nardone-McDonough, IAPP’s Leadership Coordinator, did email me the week prior with the gracious subject line, “Would like to properly thank you for your devoted…” but honestly (in a good way) I wasn’t expecting any packages at my door much less a FedEx box weighing over one pound. So, here you go…



PRIVACY AND FREEDOM by Alan F. Westin. First published in 1967, out-of -print, and brought back to life by IAPP.  This book is that special thank you gift to me from the world’s largest information privacy community.

I haven’t stopped reading this book since. It’s like a gulp of chilled  Red Bull” to my passion for privacy… of course, I mean the “giving me wings” aspect (like the commercials say), not the severe heart palpitation and withdrawal symptoms – irritability and sugar-crash that I keep hearing about on YouTube.



The significance of this book?

The Employee Polygraph Protection Act of 1988, Privacy Act of 1974 (remember those days of mainframe computers), Model Clauses, and EU-US Safe-Harbor. Do these ring a bell? This book captures the privacy values and thoughts that have influenced numerous policies, laws, and privacy practices for decades.


It’s like receiving an unexpected bouquet of very delicate tulips. Feel this with me 🙂

To my clients and prospective clients, if your privacy SME is happy and passionate about his or her work, that’s real value added. To answer your question of “How did you get so passionate and emotional about privacy?”, My answer in 2017 is longer but simple. I’d say, to understand my passion you have to experience and understand my community. Plus, I just upgraded my passion a few notches with this great book. As a practitioner I’m grateful for the opportunities I’ve had to grow and give back to the industry and community. That community is not only very resourceful, it always shows gratitude – not just by mailing gifts to my address.


IAPP’s gratitude includes the gift of the annual Chairman’s Leadership Breakfast (an opportunity for me to join the Association in honoring the distinguished work of other privacy pros while I’m also being appreciated).

It’s not the only way the association shows appreciation. I love the way IAPP shows interest in what its members are doing in their specific industries and also highlighting how we’re giving back. I’ve been highlighted, cheered and shared with the world.  IAPP has influenced and shared my privacy work in the continental U.S. and overseas thanks to Sam Pfeifle, IAPP Publications Director; Tory Bell, Director of International Operations; Lindsay Hinkle, Public Relations Manager; Cortney Sawyer, Marketing Manager; and Angelique Carson, IAPP Reporter & Editor (who wrote about my efforts in East Africa).

I treasure the pleasure of working with Marla Berry, Director of Training, and with Doug Foreman, Certification Director, on the Certification Advisory Board. This leaves me with much elation about contributing to the IAPP faculty going forward.  All these and more have been possible owing to the vision and influence of Trevor Hughes, President and CEO of IAPP (@jtrevorhughes).

Attend our event in April  for a chance to meet these really outstanding people.


Trevor did not stop at reprinting Alan F. Westin’s PRIVACY AND FREEDOM but created the IAPP Westin Research Center  to “encourage, enable and produce practical, applicable research and scholarship in privacy… as a pathway for future leaders who aspire to join the privacy community.” Hint, hint. Do you know a graduate who could appreciate and benefit from a  fellowship at this center? Encourage them to contact IAPP.


The Westin’s Research Library is not limited to fellows. Find out how you could take advantage of the resources there. The library houses a collection of  Westin’s work and his own personal collection of other privacy-related research. I’m inviting you to experience a great organization. Joining IAPP is a huge plus for you and your personnel.

Leaders, there’s so much you can learn from this community on relevant privacy topics. At the least, let your people go.  Invest.


I’m back to talking about the books that I received.


A quote I recently read via @GaryVee puts it like this, “Skill is cheap, passion is priceless“.  The reprint of Westin’s book is priceless. As a gift to me, it’s priceless. In our complex privacy discipline, practical skills and strategies are not cheap though, but I do understand @GaryVee’s premise.

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks is another masterpiece that I pulled out of the FedEx box.  I’m so honored to display this book in my library.  What a fun read! Quite a treat (but I won’t let anyone borrow my copy). I’m still reading. That’s my excuse.

You’ve heard of this book. Or, maybe you’ve forgotten. What has this book got to do with privacy?

I’m not giving any information away on this book. You’re in for a surprise. Rebecca Skloot, the author of this great book is IAPP’s keynote speaker at our upcoming Global Summit.  Don’t miss out on this experience from April 19-20. Register soon.  Get your copy signed when you attend.

There’s icing (but in this case, filling) on the cake for me. On a personal note, about the same time I received IAPP’s package, my brother gave me a gift of Dolcetto rolled wafers plus $15 in cash to buy other munchies – that is, if I wasn’t satisfied with the wafers. Nobody knows his foodie sister so well. Of course, I didn’t wait ’til I was unsatisfied.

I went out and invested in two more cans  – two flavors (Zesty Lemon and Tiramisu).

                                                                                                                                                          Courtesy of: Fusion Gourmet

With hot cocoa or tea, these sticks come in handy at quiet reading times when I have my personal privacy and freedom to read PRIVACY AND FREEDOM by Alan F. Westin, and Rebecca Skloot’s The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks . Thanks to my big brother (who doesn’t pry at all) and to IAPP.


Quick reminder to leaders (CTO, CIO, CISO, CDO, CISO, etc.) reading this.

Don’t forget my 2016 – 2017 series based on the previous privacy talk at ISSA International Conference.

Let’s continue to have fun with this!

Email me!

Twitter: @grace4privacy






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