Privacy Ref Blog


With the IAPP’s PSR 2018 conference just around the corner (see you all in Austin, TX), I have started thinking more about the conference. Originally, I attended the IAPP Academy, prior to becoming PSR, and it was very focused on learning for newer privacy pros. A lot of great conversations are had every year and the insight into different industries was excellent. However, there is one area that many people, specifically newly appointed privacy officers, had concerns about.

Building a program is difficult. Newly appointed privacy officers struggle to know what to, when to do it, or what is or is not effective. Here at Privacy Ref, we recommend taking advantage of resources where you can. Free webinars or white papers can be incredibly advantageous and provide great insight. Where most difficulty arises is in the practical application of knowledge and training. Taking theory into practice is a big step.

One way I have found that works well is simple, table-top exercises. Having a group of privacy pros all together allows for you to run a table-top exercise, bouncing ideas off one another. You learn what to avoid, what pitfalls others have seen, and what was successful. Most importantly, it gives you an opportunity to learn from experiences of others, meaning you can be ready to implement or develop a program before having actually done so.

We have developed these kinds of exercises and started integrating them with our training. This allows us to provide the theory behind building a program, as well as the practicality of actually doing it. While there is always the unexpected outcome that may occur, being ready for as much as possible through training and exercises helps to alleviate some risk. If you want more information about Privacy Ref’s course, including our US Privacy Officer Readiness Training, visit our website.

Privacy Ref provides consulting and assessment services to build and improve organizational privacy programs. For more information call Privacy Ref at (888) 470-1528 or email us at

Posted on October 2, 2018 by Ben Siegel

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