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Daniel Weitzner receives IAPP Privacy Leadership Award

Lauded for work and leadership in the development of Internet public policy
Daniel Weitzner
Daniel Weitzner
Photo courtesy of CSAIL

The International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP) has announced that the recipient for the 2013 Privacy Leadership Award is Daniel Weitzner, director and co-founder of the MIT Decentralized Information Group, and former United States Deputy Chief Technology Officer for Internet Policy in the White House. Weitzner was recognized for his work and active leadership role in the development of Internet public policy. The award is given each year to a trailblazer in the field of privacy and data protection who has demonstrated an ongoing commitment to furthering privacy policy, promoting recognition of privacy issues and advancing the growth and visibility of the privacy profession.

“Daniel Weitzner is a global leader in Internet policy and his dedication throughout the years has significantly driven the privacy profession forward,” said IAPP Chairman and Microsoft Chief Privacy Officer Brendon Lynch, CIPP/US. “It’s an honor to recognize his pioneering work including his leadership with both the EFF (Electronic Frontier Foundation), CDT (Center for Democracy and Technology) and W3C (World Wide Web Consortium), as well as his lead role in developing the Obama Administration’s Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights.”

Weitzner accepted the award at the IAPP’s annual Global Privacy Summit in Washington, DC, the world’s largest privacy conference, where privacy professionals from around the world gathered to listen to renowned privacy experts and share insights on timely privacy topics, challenges and inventive concepts for continuing to move the profession ahead.

“I am honored to receive this award from the IAPP, an organization whose members and staff have long been on the forefront of advancing strong privacy practices,” Weitzner said. “My goal is to continue to work for public understanding of law, technology and social practice that can advance privacy, freedom, human dignity and innovation in our growing global information society.”

Weitzner and the Decentralized Information Group at the MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) study the relationship between network architecture and public policy, and develop new web architectures to meet policy challenges, including privacy, cyber security and intellectual property rights. Weitzner has been a leader in the development of Internet public policy from its inception, making fundamental contributions to the successful fight for strong online free expression protection in the United States Supreme Court and crafting laws that control government surveillance of e-mail and web browsing data.

His work on U.S. legislation limiting the liability of internet service providers created the legal foundation for social media services and global free flow of information online. He also led the development of security and privacy standards at the World Wide Web Consortium. At the White House, he led the development of the Obama administration’s Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights, adoption of an international agreement on Internet Policy Making Principles, and the administration's position on the Stop Online Privacy Act (SOPA).

Weitzner was a founder of the Center for Democracy and Technology (CDT), Internet Education Foundation and the Software Freedom Law Center. He has authored and contributed to major publications including the Yale Law Review, Communications of the ACM, the Washington Post, Wired magazine and many more. Most recently, Weitzner was awarded top "Navigator" of global Internet public policy in the Newsweek Daily Beast Digital Power Index.

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