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Willis Ware, 1920-2013


November 26, 2013

Willis H. Ware, a foundational thinker in the fields of computer sciences and privacy, died on Friday at the age of 93. As part of a long career at the RAND Corporation, he participated in much of the foundation of computing technology and data governance. He taught the first computing course at UCLA, was the founding president of the American Federation of Information Processing Societies, and, writes Gene Spafford in an obituary, recently received a lifetime achievement award from EPIC. Further, said Bob Gellman, who worked for years on U.S. federal privacy matters, in an interview with Daily Dashboard, “Among his many other accomplishments, Willis Ware chaired an advisory committee that may have had the greatest worldwide influence of any similar committee. His work on the HEW committee that created Fair Information Practices continues to echo strongly in privacy debates, laws and rules all over the world. Fair Information Practices are still a useful and important policy standard for privacy more than 40 years later. And as major a legacy as Fair Information Practices are, it represented just one of his contributions. Willis was a quiet, unassuming, remarkable guy.”
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