Privacy Advisor

IAPP in the News

March 1, 2007

Harriet Pearson, IBM's CPO, Testifies in Support of Bill Banning Genetic Testing Discrimination
Harriet Pearson, CIPP, VP of Corporate Affairs & Chief Privacy Officer, IBM Corporation, and an IAPP board member, recently testified before a House subcommittee during a hearing on "Protecting Workers from Genetic Discrimination."

In October 2005, under Pearson's guidance, IBM became the first major corporation to add genetics to its discrimination policy, prohibiting "current or prospective employees' genetic information from being used in any employment decisions."

IBM supports federal legislation preventing discrimination based on genetic information. The bill, which has passed the Senate twice in the past, was reintroduced in the House in January with bipartisan support. If passed, it would give genetic information the same confidentiality as medical records, and make it illegal for employers and insurance companies to use individuals' genetic information when make hiring or coverage decisions.

Pearson's testimony generated media coverage, including a CNET News piece.

Current and Former IAPP Board Members Appointed to TRUSTe Board of Directors
TRUSTe, an online privacy certification organization, recently appointed Jules Polonetsky, CIPP, Chief Privacy Officer and Senior Vice President of Consumer Advocacy at AOL, and former IAPP board member, to its board of directors. Polonetsky joins other IAPP board members on the TRUSTe board, Peter Cullen, CIPP, Chief Privacy Strategist at Microsoft Corporation, and David Hoffman, CIPP, Group Counsel and Director of Privacy at Intel Corp. Hoffman is Assistant Treasurer of the IAPP Board.

TRUSTe's board of directors consists of 11 members selected for their strong backgrounds in a variety of industries relating to online privacy, trust and business. The board oversees the nonprofit's long-term strategy and programs.

Appointed along with Polonetsky to the TRUSTe board were two other new members: Jonathan Hart, a member in the Media and Information Technologies group at the law firm Dow Lohnes PLLC, and Donald Whiteside, Vice President of the Corporate Technology Group and Director of Technical Policy & Standards at Intel.

TRUSTe is an independent, nonprofit organization that identifies trustworthy online organizations through its Web Privacy Seal, Email Privacy Seal and Trusted Download Programs certifications.