Media

January 12, 2005

IAPP Anounces 2005 Appointments to Board of Directors

Privacy Experts from Microsoft, Highmark Inc. Join Leadership for

World's Foremost Privacy Industry Organization


York, ME, January 12, 2005 — The International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP), the world's foremost association for individuals in the profession of privacy, announce two new appointees to its Board of Directors: Peter Cullen, Chief Privacy Strategist for Microsoft Corporation, and Kimberly Gray, Chief Privacy Officer for Highmark Inc.

"Through their experience and credibility, Cullen and Gray further establish the IAPP as the privacy industry's leading and most influential voice," said Chris Zoladz, Vice President of Information Protection, Marriott International, and IAPP Board President. "The addition of these two noted privacy professionals extends the perspective of our already excellent board and ensures that the IAPP will remain preeminent in directing our industry into the future."

Cullen's deep and thorough understanding of privacy as a key driver of customer trust and the value privacy adds to a company's brand equity and bottom line has helped shape the profession's direction. Cullen's current efforts as chief privacy strategist at Microsoft apply his extensive privacy expertise and data protection best practices to manage the development and implementation of programs that enhance the privacy of Microsoft's products, services, and systems for customers worldwide. In this position, Cullen draws on over a decade of experience in the privacy industry to create more effective privacy safeguards for both enterprises and consumers.

Prior to his role at Microsoft, Cullen served as the corporate privacy officer for the Royal Bank of Canada (RBC), where he led strategic privacy initiatives for RBC's Financial Group and managed implementation of an integrated privacy compliance structure. While at RBC, Cullen established the Corporate Privacy Group and its practices, a first for a Canadian financial institution.

"Respecting customers' wishes as to how their personal information is used is critical to building customer trust and brand equity in today's business environment," Cullen said. "As a member of the board, I'll strive to add to the IAPP's voice of leadership as we advocate for privacy practices that help individual organizations and entire industries improve their handling of customer data as a clear competitive differentiator that drives customer value."

As Highmark's first chief privacy officer, Gray assumed her role in 2001 and was instrumental in developing and implementing the company's corporate privacy compliance program, including workforce privacy and security training, the privacy and security breach complaint program, member rights, and privacy compliance monitoring and risk assessments.  She continues to lead and promote Highmark's corporate culture of treating members' health information as if it were its own, as she holds ultimate responsibility for safeguarding 23 million members' health and financial information. A key accomplishment for Gray in 2004 was the completion of a multi-million dollar Unique Member Identifier project designed to prevent identity theft.

An attorney who has worked in both private practice and corporate settings, Gray is currently the co-chair of the health care law committee of the Pennsylvania Bar Association.

"Privacy is the balance of individual rights and social and public policy goals," said Gray.  "It's important for us to live in a secure society while continuing to enjoy a comfortable degree of individual privacy.  I look forward to adding the knowledge and perspective I've gained with Highmark to the IAPP board and helping to prepare the privacy profession for current and future challenges."

About the IAPP

The International Association of Privacy Professionals is the world's leading association of privacy and security professionals.  The IAPP helps define and support the profession of privacy by being a forum for interaction, education and discussion across industries.

About Highmark Inc.

With $8.2 billion in annual revenue, Highmark Inc. is one of the nation's largest health insurers. In addition to health insurance, the Pittsburgh-based nonprofit corporation provides dental, vision and life and casualty insurance products to more than 23 million people nationwide. Highmark Inc. is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, an association of independent Blue Cross and Blue Shield Plans. For more information about Highmark Inc., visit www.highmark.com.