Senior Privacy Consultant

In this blog series you will get to know several of our privacy experts from our global consulting team. Each team member brings different experience and expertise, so be sure to read each of their tips and advice!

What drew you to privacy and how many years have you been in the privacy space?

I fell into privacy by accident, but quickly realized that I am a square peg in a square hole. However, in thinking back over my career, in my early 20s, I identified and designed a patient admissions process to an inpatient mental hospital that would provide privacy, even for callers – where there would be an assigned code number on order to reach the patient. Only those with the code had permission. It became implemented in mental health hospitals across the nation. I officially became a privacy professional back in 2008 in the US in health care (as a nurse turned attorney working with HIPAA), then quickly progressed to the global realm and other sectors – medical devices, startups, tech, government, etc.

Favorite GDPR Article and why

My favorite GDPR Articles are 37-39 on the appointment of a qualified DPO. I have often seen instances where privacy officers have accountability but essentially zero authority to impact processes or make changes – no insight into their budget, and no travel to countries under their privacy realm. So, the requirements to have a qualified DPO with authority and independence is a welcome sight to see.

One thing you’ve noticed that has changed about privacy since you’ve started

I’ve noticed a shift to a global focus, the prevalence of breaches, and the connection to government oversight and involvement.

Advice for new privacy practitioners 

I would tell them that not everyone is suited for privacy. And privacy is especially not suitable for a binary mindset. There are few clear definitive answers in privacy, much depends on specific cases, uses, elements, environment, etc. Be prepared to be flexible, creative, and fast-paced.

K Royal is an attorney and compliance professional with 25 years of experience in the legal and health-related fields, which provides her a thorough perspective when implementing or overseeing programs globally. She is skilled in privacy laws, breach management, compliance, training, and program development. K has a particular interest in technology along with its challenges and opportunities. K is an adjunct professor at the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law and is currently in the dissertation phase of her PhD in Public Affairs. As an attorney, she has been recognized as a Forty-under-40 honoree for Phoenix, as an educational leader through the YWCA, one of the top pro bono attorneys in Arizona, a finalist in the Silicon Valley Corporate Counsel awards for the Rising Star category, Member of the Year for the Association of Corporate Counsel (out of 40k members globally), and most recently as an Outstanding Woman in Business in Phoenix. Her areas of work mainly center around privacy and regulatory compliance while her personal loves are civic education, youth outreach, diversity initiatives, and leadership training. Professionally, she is active in many areas, mainly IAPP, ACC, and the State Bar of Arizona and serves on the boards of several non-profits.


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