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5 lawyers who became privacy officers of big tech companies of the world

Gone are the days when the only option for a lawyer was becoming an advocate and practicing before the court or becoming a solicitor and advising the clients from the office. 

Niche areas of specialization are fast becoming the trend, and part of the future for professionals. The Legal profession is not in isolation and therefore not exempted from the sweeping wind of change.

We now have specialisations such as intellectual property rights (IPR), media and entertainment law, technology law which were unthinkable 40 years ago. 

Recently I heard someone tag themselves as “Instagram lawyer” which made me realise that ‘Generation Z’ has graduated and entered the legal field too. 

The technology is currently fueled by data which may include private data of individuals. This raises privacy questions and demands to balance human rights and business interests. 

The growing cybersecurity and privacy needs, requires a breed of professionals with technical and regulatory expertise

The enactment of major legislations such as General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) have taken the businesses around the world by a storm.

These regulations gave birth to the requirement for a new brand of professionals such as data protection officers, chief privacy officers, privacy attorneys, or those working with the regulators or whichever appellation is ascribed to the role to carry out data protection implementation, advisory or audit. 

Clearly, the growing privacy landscape is not a space unique to the expertise of lawyers, however, lawyers have a big role to play. 

Here is the list and journey of five lawyers who are heading the privacy regulations of some of the biggest companies in the world: 

1. Kristie Chon, Chief Privacy Officer & Global Data Governance Executive at PayPal

As PayPal’s Chief Privacy Officer, Chon leads a global team that develops and operationalizes PayPal’s global data governance and privacy program. 

Before joining PayPal, she was the Chief Privacy Officer at HCL Technologies where she led an organization of experienced privacy professionals to develop and operationalize a privacy framework from the ground-up. She started her career as a lawyer advising technology outsourcing and consumer protection issues in law firms and regulatory agencies.

2. Stephen Deadman, VP, Data Protection & Leadership, DPO at Facebook

A Solicitor from the United Kingdom, Stephen is not only a Vice President, Data Protection & leadership but also Data Protection Officer there and leads global privacy policy for Facebook internationally.

With over 18 years of experience in the technology and telecoms sectors, Stephen has worked on many emerging privacy issues including geo-location services, mobile advertising and analytics, identity management, big data, law enforcement and human rights, and spoken at many industry, privacy and security conferences around the world. 

3. Cristina Cabella, Chief Privacy Officer/ DPO and General Counsel at IBM

Cristina Cabella is IBM’s chief privacy officer where she leads a global team of legal, data protection and technical professionals who address privacy and data security across IBM’s business. She also leads IBM’s global engagement in public policy, and industry initiatives on data security and privacy.

A lawyer by profession she worked at law firms in Milan for close to 10 years before moving to in-house counsel roles at IBM. 

4. Caroline Louveaux, Chief Privacy Officer at Mastercard

After completing her law studies she joined Linklaters for a period of 7 years before joining Mastercard as a European Regional Counsel. 

Currently at Mastercard as the Chief Privacy Officer, Caroline is leading the global team responsible for ensuring that privacy and data protection are addressed in all business processes that collect, use or disclose personally identifiable information about our cardholders, customers, partners and employees. 

She is creating and driving strategy across the four key pillars of Mastercard’s global privacy program: Compliance, Privacy by Design, Regulatory, and Training & Development.

5. Mikko Niva, Global Privacy Officer, Vodafone Group

A lawyer by training, Niva is responsible for Vodafone’s global privacy policy and the program to implement the policy. 

Before joining Vodafone, he worked as the Group Privacy Officer for Nokia for close to 8 years before switching to. 

Ten years from now, the landscape of privacy legislation will be evolved and established. 

As per the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), 128 out of 194 countries have enacted legislation to secure the protection of data and privacy.

This trend has led to the emergence of specialised careers for lawyers who cater to the data protection and privacy management needs of Big Tech companies as well as startups and SMEs – both as in-house counsels and external lawyers.

Do you, as a lawyer, want to work in Big Tech companies such as Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Apple and Amazon and other fast growing international startups? 

Do you aspire to work for organizations focussing on Internet of Things (IoT), Artificial Intelligence, Blockchain, Machine Learning and Big Data and other cutting-edge technologies of the future as a lawyer or a compliance/policy expert?

Do you want to know which skills will set you apart?

Does technology law, data protection or privacy management as a career excite you?

Join us for a 3-day FREE LIVE online bootcamp on International career opportunities for lawyers in Data Protection, Privacy Management and Technology Law from 29-21 May, 6-9 pm Indian Standard Time.


During this bootcamp you will learn about different types of job roles in the data protection and privacy management field and how to explore untapped opportunities. We will also teach you how to build a track record for an international career and fetch clients from big tech startups to escalate your practice worldwide. 

The bootcamp is conducted by Ramanuj Mukherjee, CEO and Co-founder of LawSikho and Abhyuday Agarwal, COO, Co-founder of LawSikho. They are going to teach you various skills and tasks that are undertaken by Privacy lawyers and equip you to kickstart your career in the data security and privacy management field. 

Moreover it is FREE and you can attend it from any part of the world. 

Save this event in your calendar now: 

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