Wednesday, February 01, 2006

About Me

I figure I should start things off with a little bit about me so that you'll know why I feel qualified to blog on issues related to PR, privacy, and data security.

I've been a writer and public relations flak for the better part of the last 15 years. Not that length of service necessarily defines me as a maven on any particular topic, but it at least demonstrates that I'm smart enough to have remained consistently and gainfully employed or otherwise engaged during most of my adult life.

Prior to that I spent four years as an intelligence analyst for the US Navy. There were a few intervening years spent narrowly avoiding serious injury in construction as well as working my way through college at the University of Southern Maine. I'm also a passionate fly angler, spending as much time as I can find casting to any number of species that swim in the waters of my native New England (striped bass, largemouth bass, sunfish, and pickerel, primarily), or traveling to places such as Alaska or Nova Scotia for different challenges afield. Often gratuitous, occasionally relevant, you'll notice angling references in my work from time to time.

In April of 2003 my career path brought me to York, Maine and the International Association of Privacy Professionals where I served as newsletters editor until July of last year. Today I am happily knocking around as a consultant and freelance writer.

During my 27 months with the IAPP I had an opportunity to become intimately involved in one of the more formative business issues in recent years: data privacy.

At first glance data privacy seems (and seemed to me at the time) to be one of those esoteric subjects that deserves little more than obligatory consideration; leave it to the lawyers, and don't take too much of my time.

But timing is, indeed, everything.

I joined the IAPP shortly after the appointment of Trevor Hughes as executive director, and at a point when numerous events were converging and gathering critical mass. Regulations such as HIPAA, GLBA, and SOX were nearing critical deadlines; the emergence and early adoption of RFID technology was happening; California's SB 1386 was about to become law, putting a number of events in motion that would culminate with the ChoicePoint debacle... it was a fascinating and exciting time to get involved, and under Trevor's leadership, the IAPP quickly established itself as the leading voice in privacy.

Before long, I found myself immersed in the issues and involved in the community. My writing and opinion on various issues were finding an audience and gaining respect. I met people who would have a profound impact on my work and who would become friends as well as colleagues. I achieved certification as an Information Privacy Professional (CIPP).

Most importantly, I maintain an active dialog with my friends and colleagues within the privacy community. We often discuss the hot topics of the day, and it is that dialog I hope to share with you. In addition to my opinions, observations, and occasional rantings about privacy and data security, I'll share insights from my network.

I look forward to sharing this space with you, offering my insights, and introducing you to some of my friends. Over time, I hope to have an influence on your perspective, and I look forward to hearing what you have to say.

Mike

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