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NYC appoints chief privacy officer

CPO’s office will work not only to keep data secure, but also to maximise data sharing where permitted by law

NYC wants to guarantee privacy protections regarding personal information
NYC wants to guarantee privacy protections regarding personal information

New York City (NYC) has appointed its first chief privacy officer (CPO) to help safeguard the publicly held data of its citizens.


Mayor Bill de Blasio has announced that Laura Negrón will fill the new position, created to enhance and coordinate responsible citywide data-sharing practices and continue to improve how the city uses data to inform responsible, equitable policies.


Negrón will work across city agencies and offices to promote new citywide protocols relating to the collection, disclosure, and retention of individually identifiable information. She will also provide guidance to agencies and streamline the new policies and procedures within a centralised office.


The CPO’s office will work not only to keep data secure, but also to maximise data-sharing where permitted by law to encourage equitable and innovative policies throughout the city.


“As the exchange of information between governments and the public becomes more open and transparent, it is important that the city can guarantee privacy protections regarding personal information,” said council member Peter Koo, chair of NYC committee on technology.


“We wish NYC’s first chief privacy officer, Laura Negrón, great success in her pursuit of safeguarding the privacy and security of all New Yorkers.”


As general counsel and chief privacy officer for the mayor’s office of operations, Negrón created NYC’s ‘citywide data integration legal framework’, which established a citywide governance structure and the data security protocols required when agencies exchange data to achieve key multiagency initiatives to benefit New Yorkers.


This framework has opened the door to leveraging creative solutions to sharing data safely while implementing important programmes for New Yorkers, such as pre-K and 3-K enrolment outreach and workforce common metrics initiatives.


The CPO will require that identifiable information be anonymised when necessary, and will require the privacy officer of each agency to issue guidance on the law’s requirements to its employees and certain of its contractors, and subcontractors.


Negrón will continue to report directly to acting director of the mayor’s office of operations, Emily Newman. The size of the expanding privacy team is yet to be determined.


“I’m thrilled that Laura is being called upon to oversee a centralised effort to secure data in New York City,” added Newman. “Laura has forged new paths in citywide data privacy strategy, finding ways to safely leverage data to offer more services to more New Yorkers, and leads the implementation of the city’s internal privacy protocols. No one is more prepared to guide the city’s data privacy strategy – New Yorkers are in good hands.”


Negrón’s 40-year career in public service leadership has spanned both the nonprofit and government sectors. Prior to leading the legal and privacy team at Operations, Negrón served as Executive Agency Counsel for HHS Connect, a programme that provides IT tools and solutions to help health and human services agencies coordinate interagency case management.


She has also served as a deputy county attorney, and as dean of institutional advancement for Long Island University’s Brooklyn Campus.


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