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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.  

tim blog

Name: Tim Sullivan

Job Title: CFO

How long have you worked at TRUSTe? 5 years

Tell us about your role at TRUSTe: I manage the Finance, HR, IT, Compliance, Legal and Policy teams at TRUSTe.

What do you think most people would be surprised to know about data privacy?  Most people would be surprised to know how complicated the management of a company’s data actually is. I deal in corporate and HR data every day, as well as monitor our data security practices via the IT team. It is crystal clear to me just how difficult a task it is to control internal data flows and ensure ongoing compliance with internal and external requirements.  TRUSTe is the first company to offer automated ways to help privacy professionals get a handle on the vast amount of data.

Do you think companies are investing enough in data privacy protection?  No, companies are not investing enough in data privacy. The problem today is that the efficiency of a dollar spent on data privacy is low.  Consultants are expensive, and their work has a very short shelf life.  Therefore, budgets are constantly under pressure, and other more immediate and productive projects from legal, security or general IT pull budget dollars away from privacy.  TRUSTe’s new solutions make budget dollars spent on privacy significantly more productive and extensible.

What can other CFOs do to ensure an adequate amount of their company’s budget is allocated for data privacy? Getting privacy right is critical to a company’s brand as well as its finances. A single enforcement action against a company for a privacy violation can cost [20x] or more compared to implementing a privacy solution which could have prevented such a violation.

What do you like most about working at TRUSTe? The people at TRUSTe are great. We’ve built a fantastic team that is tackling a huge market opportunity and that makes it exciting to work here. The evolution of the data privacy market is following the same pattern established by the data security market 15 years ago — which means the data privacy market is about to explode from about $1 billion today to four-to-five times that in the next five years.

What do you do for fun when you’re not working?  I enjoy do-it-yourself projects around my house, working on my car restoration project, playing water polo, lounging poolside in my backyard and watching my kids swim.