Thinking privacy and taking action

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International  Data Privacy Day—also known as Data Protection Day in Europe—is today, January 28th, in the United States, Canada and 27 European countries. Its aim is to raise awareness for consumers, organizations, and influencer’s privacy issues.

Since we’ve spotted Data Privacy Day posters all over campus, we wanted to follow-up with one of the people helping spread the word inside—and beyond—Microsoft.

The ‘Softie in question: Mona Beggs

The job title: Sr. Solution Manager, Trustworthy Computing Group (TwC)

Most employees have seen the “Data Privacy Day” posters around campus. How is Microsoft involved?

Inside the company, we’re asking each person in the company to do just “ONE THING” to commemorate Data Privacy Day. It’s a great way for employees to enhance their privacy knowledge and have crucial conversations with colleagues who are privacy subject matter experts.  Trustworthy Computing, in partnership with our internal privacy community, is encouraging Microsoft teams to “think privacy and take action.” The “ONE THING” could be as easy as reading a white paper on privacy in the cloud, subscribing to a privacy newsletter, or taking an online awareness privacy training. It just takes one to make a difference.

Outside the company, Microsoft has continued to sponsor privacy research work. This year the focus is on location-based services and looking into how much value consumers place on these services. And how much privacy control are they willing to give up for it? We are sponsoring a panel discussion on this topic in San Francisco.

And you work in the Trustworthy Computing Group.

Yes. I support the corporate team that focuses on privacy, accessibility, geopolitical, and online trust and safety policies and issues. With such complex and dynamic topics, my area of focus is developing learning solutions, like training and awareness campaigns, that are designed at increasing knowledge and improving employee performance around these policies. Human Performance Technology is an approach that connects behavior with achieving specific business results. Essentially, it’s about developing solutions that help employees focus on the most significant activities that roll up to achieve our desired business result.

For Data Privacy Day, it’s about making the connection for every Microsoft employee to think about privacy and know we all are responsible to take action to do the right thing. This year, I designed the internal campaign including posters thought-provoking images to help employees to “THINK PRIVACY” and “TAKE ACTION.”

Data privacy is a unique area of the company. How did you start working on privacy issues?

Eight years ago, a Privacy Marketing Manager position opened up and I was intrigued by the role. With more and more people, including myself, doing business online – I was fascinated by how personal data was collected, used, and shared.  Coming from a marketing background, I enjoyed learning how to balance privacy considerations with marketing goals and helping teams think through their campaigns.

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