June 30, 2005

IAPP Creates New Privacy Certification Program for Government Professionals

YORK (ME), June 30, 2005 -- The International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP) today announced a new privacy certification program designed exclusively for government employees at all levels, as well as for companies and vendors that support the government market.

IAPP's new Certified Information Privacy Professional/Government (CIPP/G) program is the only one of its kind designed exclusively for government professionals working in the areas of information management, public records or information security. It also is available for private-sector employees who serve clients in federal, state or local agencies.

"There is a need going forward for agency employees at both federal and state level to be knowledgeable and confident in applying the relevant laws and best practices for balancing citizen privacy and civil liberties with the necessities of a modern-day connected world, "said Trevor Hughes, Executive Director of the International Assoc. of Privacy Professionals. "It's in the national interest."

The issue of information privacy recently has vaulted to the top of the national interest. Government employees, particularly those involved in information and data management, are coming under increasing pressure to protect sensitive private information while at the same time balancing the government's obligation to provide access to public records.

Emerging policies and new technologies make this balancing act even more difficult. For example, the need for improved homeland security, the rise of web-based, e-government initiatives that provide better service for citizens, and the drive toward the creation of a health information network -- all mean that vast amounts of data must be shared and integrated across government agencies nationwide.

Yet until now, government managers and employees had no definitive means of certifying they were knowledgeable about the myriad aspects of their privacy responsibilities. The CIPP/G essentially defines and advances a professional discipline that in most cases does not exist today. It establishes educational and testing standards for government privacy officials and recognizes successful candidates with a formal certificate of achievement.

"Developing the unique skills and knowledge necessary to serve as a privacy professional is key to being able to address effectively the myriad of issues related to privacy in the public sector," said Dan Caprio, Chief Privacy Officer for the U.S. Department of Commerce. "I applaud the inaugural class of certified governmental privacy professionals for this important step forward."

The CIPP/G curriculum addresses privacy laws, regulations and policies, including the Freedom of Information Act, Privacy Act and eGovernment Act, all of which impact agency decisions regarding privacy and security.

The curriculum also is open to private-sector employees such as vendors, attorneys and consultants with government clients. Among those who should consider applying: Federal, state and local government officers and employees with privacy or security related responsibilities or obligations.

Officers and employees at regulatory agencies who handle privacy as part of their daily roles. Individuals who advise senior officers within government on information management policies and practices. Compliance officers seeking to broaden their knowledge of government privacy Managers of public records.

"I'm both excited and honored to become part of the first graduating class of CIPP/Gs," said Preston Gillmore, Information Systems Security Manager for the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Cooperative State Research, Education and Extension Service (CREES). "I consider privacy certification an integral part of my value to USDA and my own professional growth."

IAPP also offers certification candidates training courses and certification resources over the web as well as on CD-ROM and on-site programs.

"The standards for privacy protection should be high, and particularly so when government is the one discharging its privacy and civil liberties responsibilities," said Harriet Pearson, vice president of corporate affairs and chief privacy officer for IBM, which underwrites the program. "It's so important for government to get this right, and that's where preparing government workers who are well-trained and certified is a big opportunity to build citizen trust. IBM is pleased to be a part of the team of experts that assembled and support the new curriculum and credential."


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.