NYC hires first chief privacy officer

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has appointed Laura Negrón as the city's first chief privacy officer (CPO).  As CPO, Negrón will be responsible for improving the city's data sharing and mining processes, and promoting citywide protocols "relating to the collection, disclosure and retention of individually identifiable information," according to a statement. Prior to this role, Negrón served as General Counsel and CPO for the Mayor's Office of Operations, where she helped to create the Citywide Data Integration legal framework.

Data privacy and security has been a top priority for New York City this week. Just a few days prior to Negrón's appointment, De Blasio announced the launch of NYC Secure, the city's first-ever cybersecurity initiative aimed to protect New Yorkers from malicious cyber activity on their smartphones. This action comes on the heels of a citywide ransomware attack in Atlantathat has rocked the city's technical infrastructure, and of a hack that shut down Baltimore's 911 dispatch system.

As cities increase the amount of data they're collecting — and therefore become bigger targets for cyber-attacks — developing a dedicated cyber-security lead or team is necessary to remain protected and resilient. So far, only a few U.S. cities, including Seattle and Phoenix, have developed the role of a chief privacy officer, though interest in the position may soon increase considering New York's influence as a leader in city governance.

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