Microsoft recruits privacy strategist

Microsoft has appointed Peter Cullen as its new chief privacy strategist.

Microsoft has appointed Peter Cullen as its new chief privacy strategist.

Reporting to Scott Charney, Microsoft's chief Trustworthy Computing strategist, Cullen's job will be to help ensure that privacy protection and best practices are part of Microsoft's products, services, systems and internal processes.

Cullen will join Microsoft on 14 July, leaving his present job as corporate privacy officer at the Royal Bank of Canada. He sees the move to Microsoft as a "phenomenal opportunity."

"I am really passionate about privacy and how it affects consumers' lives," Cullen said.

"I have two priorities: understand and build relations internally and externally at Microsoft and understand where they are with Trustworthy Computing."

Microsoft chairman and chief software architect Bill Gates launched the Trustworthy Computing initiative last year.

Privacy activists welcomed the news of Cullen's appointment. Recruiting a non-US privacy expert was especially received as good news.

"Canada is light years ahead of the US in terms of its federal and provincial privacy laws," said Beth Givens, director of the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse. 

Cullen will bring experience with privacy regulation and security, which is what somebody in his position at Microsoft will need, said Deborah Pierce, executive director of Privacy Activism.

Joris Evers writes for IDG News Service

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