Daily Dashboard

FTC Chief Privacy Officer To Become New Executive Director of NAI

November 18, 2011

By Jedidiah Bracy, CIPP

Yesterday, the Network Advertising Initiative (NAI) board of directors announced that it has appointed Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Chief Privacy Officer Marc Groman, CIPP, as its new executive director and general counsel.

The NAI is a self-regulatory organization comprised of more than 75 online marketing and analytics businesses for the purpose of building consumer awareness and improving business standards and practices around online data collection, storage and use. In its work to establish industry self-regulation and protections for online consumers, the NAI has created standards for third-party advertising networks as well as spam, cookies and Web beacons.

Marc Groman

Groman will begin work for the organization starting in December.

NAI Board Chairman and Microsoft Director of Privacy Robert Gratchner, CIPP, told the Daily Dashboard that Groman brings with him “vast experience dealing with government agencies, consumer advocates and corporations. He bubbled to the top as a fantastic candidate.”

When asked whether Groman’s appointment will change the NAI’s goal with regard to privacy issues, Gratchner said the organization will stick to its “core mission of self-regulation around the ad network space but with new insights, expertise and skill set.” Gratchner is optimistic that Groman will help take the NAI goals to a new level. “With regard to privacy,” he said, “we hope Marc’s experience will help improve our work with online behavioral advertising.”

Groman has served as the FTC’s chief privacy officer--the first in the agency’s history--since 2006. He has overseen the development of the FTC’s privacy program from the start while ensuring the agency has complied with federal privacy law. Reporting directly to FTC Chairman Jon Liebowitz, Groman has been the senior agency official for privacy and coordinates the agency’s Breach Notification Response Team. He also currently serves on the IAPP’s board of directors.

In an NAI press release, FTC Deputy Director of the Bureau of Consumer Protection Jessica Rich said, “Marc really understands the privacy issues facing consumers and businesses today, and has remarkable creativity, problem-solving and people skills…The NAI is really lucky to get him at this critical time for privacy.”

Groman replaces Charles Curran, who has served as the NAI’s executive director and general counsel since 2009. Of Curran’s work with the NAI, Gratchner said, “We want to thank Chuck. He’s done a fantastic job bringing us from a small association of 22 members to one of 78 members.” Curran will remain as an advisor to the NAI.

Groman will address the industry sometime in December.