Our latest series will introduce you to a new TRUSTe employee every week to give you an inside look at the talented, knowledgeable and friendly people who work at TRUSTe.
Name: Josh Harris
Job title: Director of Policy
How long have you worked at TRUSTe?: Nearly three months
Location: I work out of the D.C. office and visit the headquarters in San Francisco every other month. Much of my time is spent traveling to countries in Europe, Asia and Latin America to contribute to the work being done by government and industry on data privacy interoperability.
Describe key current projects: I started my career in privacy in 2006 and worked for the Department of Commerce as Associate Director for the Office of Technology and Electronic Commerce. In that capacity, I headed the US government’s delegation to the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation’s Data Privacy Subgroup. After that I was the Policy Director at the Future of Privacy Forum where I continued my work on international data transfers, among other privacy-related topics. Watching APEC evolve and realizing the critical role TRUSTe plays in issuing certifications, I was eager to work with the smart team of privacy pros here to develop solutions to the evolving privacy landscape. Right now I’m focused on building out TRUSTe’s APEC Cross Border Privacy Rules certification system. To date, TRUSTe is the only organization in the world recognized as an APEC-accredited certifier to this standard.
What do you like most about working here?: After working in privacy for 9 years, it became clear that TRUSTe was a great organization to help companies comply with privacy regulations. In addition to the company itself, the team at TRUSTe is so positive, knowledgeable, and really care about helping their clients get privacy right.
Why do you think online privacy is an important issue?: It’s not an option to completely disengage with the internet. So if we accept that online engagement is a fact of life, the responsible management of those interactions takes on an essential role. That’s why TRUSTe seeks to help companies not only comply with privacy regulations but implement best practices. And as connected as we all are today, future generations will be even more connected, giving companies the opportunity to use personal information in a wider variety of ways. That’s why it’s essential we work to create industry-wide privacy standards today, not just in the US, but globally.
What are some hot issues in the privacy space right now?: APEC is particularly interesting because of its work on interoperability with Europe’s Article 29 Working Party. Collectively, this project involves 49 countries. As such, it provides a tremendous opportunity to build on consensus-based solutions to help achieve a truly global approach to data privacy.
What do you do for fun when you’re not working?: When I am on the road, I enjoy taking in the sites. Visiting the Great Wall of China was a particular highlight. When I’m home I like hanging around the house with my two girls. Art projects and My Little Pony are two of their favorites.