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: Ken Okumura
Job title: VP Engineering
How long have you worked at TRUSTe?: 5 years
Describe your current role, how this role has changed over time and your current projects: I am responsible for managing engineering and operations infrastructure at TRUSTe. I have held this position since I started here. Although my responsibilities have largely remained the same, the scope of my work has grown from evolving our core product and service offerings to building a new set of products and services that still revolve around privacy but due to market demands have steered us to expanding beyond our certification services. Not only has the scope of our business grown in the past 5 years but our human resources reach has extended globally as well. Collaborating with the rest of our engineering team in the Philippines has allowed us to gain efficiencies in development that we would not have otherwise been able to achieve in San Francisco alone.
What do you like most about working here?: I really enjoy exploring new ways to solve problems that haven’t already been solved by others or in ways that others may have not thought about before. It’s really inspiring to see people within the company rallying around an idea and running at full speed to realize it. When others see what you see and are excited to work toward that goal, it becomes contagious. TRUSTe has been fortunate to have a lot of exceptional people who share that passion.
Why do you think online privacy is an important issue?: In order to keep technology moving in the right direction, there needs to be assurances that data is handled in a safe and responsible manner. Things that you do and take for granted offline, you should be able to do online. An exchange of information to someone in a face-to-face transaction is very different than exchanging that same information on a form on a website. That should not be the case. That same level of trust needs to be online as well. Because of the speed at which information gets proliferated online, it becomes even more important to safeguard that information. When we read about the latest security or privacy breach in the news, it reminds us that safeguarding privacy is more important today that ever before.
What are some hot issues in the privacy space right now?: One of the main issues in the field of privacy today is assessing the level of compliance that a company may have around its own privacy practices. We are working to solve that issue by creating a system that can catalog the practices of a company so that it can have a comprehensive view of how it’s doing across all divisions and geographies against the various regulations that it is aspiring to be measured against. Today, this information may be kept in disparate systems or even in spreadsheets, handwritten documents or other arbitrary storage mechanisms. Without being able to have some level of confidence that you are aware of the full scope of your privacy practices, it’s like flying blind.
What do you do for fun when you’re not working?: Outside of work, I enjoy spending time with my family. When you don’t see me with my family, I’m likely running somewhere on the streets or on a trail.