March 11, 2005

2005 Ponemon Institute, IAPP Announce Results of Annual Salary Survey


Findings Point to Growing Prominence of Privacy Officers within Corporations

Washington, DC — March 11, 2005 — Privacy professionals are moving up the pay scale, but spending more time responding to privacy incidents than they'd like; just two of the findings revealed by an annual salary and career survey conducted by the Ponemon Institute and the International Association of Privacy Professionals.  The Ponemon Institute surveyed 224 privacy professionals in the U.S. and Canada.  Copies of the study will be available to IAPP members upon request.

This year, IAPP and Ponemon Institute have added a new dimension to the study in order to better understand the privacy professional's job function, status and role within organizations.   In addition to asking about salary, the survey included questions about reporting relationships, job responsibilities outside of privacy, total working hours spent on privacy and how these hours are allocated to specific tasks.

"This year we wanted to not only track compensation trends but to dig deeper and learn more about how privacy professionals are spending their time and if they think they should be focusing their attention on other areas," said Dr. Larry Ponemon, chairman and founder of Ponemon Institute. "Given recent highly publicized privacy breaches and new state and federal regulations, we found it understandable that our respondents believe they need to spend more time analyzing regulations and being proactive and strategic in helping their companies with their privacy and data protection challenges. Clearly they want to spend less time putting out fires."

According to the survey, 25% of privacy professionals earn between $60,000 and $100,000 per year. Forty-five percent earn more than $100,000 per year. It is interesting to note that in tracking salary trends for the past three years, privacy professionals who are at higher levels within their organizations have experienced much faster growth (17.8% from 2003 to 2005) in compensation than those in the lower ranks (2.7% during that same period).

Other findings from the 2005 Privacy Professional's Role, Function and Salary Survey include::

  • The average annual salary of a privacy professional is $109,140.85, an increase of 2.45 percent when compared to the previous average of $106,531.48.
  • 19.2 percent of a privacy professionals' time is spent responding to privacy incidents (compared to an ideal target of 8.5 percent).
  • 50 percent of privacy professionals are at a director or higher level within their firms.
  • 84 percent report their position is a full-time roll within their organization.
  • 42 percent said their department has a direct line of report to a C-level executive within the organization, while 25 percent have a direct line of report to General Counsel.
  • 56 percent of privacy professionals responding to the survey are female.
  • 31 percent work within the healthcare industry.
  • 21 percent work in financial services.
  • 7 percent work in the technology/software industry.

The Privacy Professional's Role, Function and Salary Survey is an annual study of the privacy profession, commissioned by the IAPP to track the progress of the privacy profession and as a service to the international privacy community.

"The profession of privacy continues to grow and mature within corporate and governmental organizations.  This survey points to the growing respect and prominence of the privacy professional," said Trevor Hughes, executive director of the IAPP.

The 2005 Privacy Professional's Role, Function and Salary Survey Report is available upon request. To obtain a copy, please contact Ponemon Institute at 231-599-2920 or research@ponemon.orgThis e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it .

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.  To learn more, visit

About the Ponemon Institute

Ponemon Institute is a "think tank" dedicated to advancing responsible information management practices in business and government. To achieve this objective, Ponemon Institute conducts independent research to promote best practices, to educate leaders from the private and public sectors and to verify the privacy and data protection practices of organizations. For more information, visit or contact (231) 599-2920.

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