n. A corporate executive in charge of maintaining the privacy of company and customer data.
Good security is tough to maintain, but it's simplicity itself compared with the morass of privacy concerns for organizations. … For that reason, some companies are creating a new job title: chief privacy officer. … American Express, AT&T, DoubleClick, [email protected], General Motors, IBM, Mutual of Omaha Insurance, and Verizon are among the organizations that have appointed CPOs in recent months. Dr. Alan Westin, publisher of Privacy & American Business, estimates there are now 200 to 300 CPOs in the United States, including many in the financial and health-care sectors.
In mid-May, the DOJ's leadership was scrambling to comply with a presidential directive calling on all federal agencies to designate a 'chief privacy officer' to handle technology and privacy issues.
The emergence of privacy as a major concern for both individuals and corporations is reflected in the fact that, if we can believe the first citation, the U.S. alone has at least a couple of hundred CPOs acting in an appropriately paranoid fashion, yet the title chief privacy officer seems to have been in existence only since about 1998, judging by the earliest citation.