An Insider’s Guide to Advancing Your Privacy Career

In this enlightening episode we delve into the art of negotiation and career advancement with R. Jason Cronk. Jason, a renowned privacy engineer, lawyer, and author of the acclaimed IAPP textbook “Strategic Privacy by Design,”.

Key Highlights:

1. Discover how Jason transformed his corporate role into a part-time role to allow him to work solely on Privacy By Design projects. You’ll learn how to create opportunities and negotiate terms that align with your personal and professional aspirations.

2. Jason also recounts challenging moments in his career, particularly dealing with resistance to privacy and security concerns within corporate departments. His takeaways emphasise the importance of choosing your battles wisely and knowing when to walk away.

3. Learn from Jason’s approach to negotiation, where he advocates for flexibility, adaptability, and seeking win-win solutions. He shares how creating a part-time role for himself opened doors to consulting and training opportunities, underlining the importance of not feeling trapped in your career.

Whether you’re facing career challenges, seeking to influence change, or exploring new avenues in privacy, Jason’s experiences and strategies offer a roadmap to success.

With over two decades of experience in principle and trust consulting, R. Jason Cronk is a seasoned privacy engineer, developer, lawyer, author of the IAPP textbook “Strategic Privacy by Design,”.

He is also the founder and president of the Institute of Operational Privacy Design, a non-profit organisation of privacy professionals which seeks to define and drive the adoption of common and comprehensive standards to protect individuals’ privacy. His knowledge and involvement reaches across the spectrum as an active member of the academic, engineering, legal and professional privacy communities and a pioneering voice in the development of privacy by design. Whether it is writing books, developing models and frameworks, or training companies and individuals alike, he is tirelessly advocating for privacy across the world.

If you’re ready to transform your career and become the go-to GDPR expert, get your copy of ‘The Easy Peasy Guide to GDPR’ here: https://www.bestgdprbook.com/

Follow Jamal on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/kmjahmed/

Follow Jason on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/rjc06c/

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Transcript
Jason:

I'm always looking for opportunities to negotiate to get better position. I was in a full time role and I said to my boss who was a CISO, I want to do privacy by design full time. You know what I did, I found somebody within the company to take my role and I said, I want to go part time and that was just unheard of. Don't feel trapped and always be willing to negotiate. And look for win opportunity that are better for everybody rather than just take it as it is.

Intro:

Are you ready to know what you don't know about Privacy pros, then you are in the right place. Welcome to the Privacy Pros Academy podcast by Kazient Privacy experts, the podcast to launch progress and excel your career as a privacy pro. Hear about the latest news and development. Discover fascinating insights from leading global privacy professionals.

And hear real stories and top tips from the people who've been where you want to get to. We've trained people in over 137 countries and counting. So, whether you're thinking about starting a career in data privacy. Or you're an experienced professional. This is

Jamal:

Hello, and welcome to another episode of the Privacy Pros Podcast. I'm your host, Jamal Ahmed, founder and lead mentor at the Privacy Pros Academy. And I'm thrilled to have you joining us today, because we have a very special episode with a very special author.

With over two decades of experience in principle and trust consulting, R. Jason Cronk is a seasoned privacy engineer, developer, lawyer. Author of the IAPP textbook, Strategic Privacy by Design, and founder and president of the Institute of Operational Privacy Design, a non for profit organization of privacy professionals which seeks to define the adoption of common and comprehensive standards to protect individuals privacy. His knowledge and involvement reaches across the spectrum and as an active member of the academic, engineering, legal, and professional privacy communities. He is a pioneering voice in the development of privacy by design. Whether it's writing books, developing models and frameworks or training companies and individuals alike, he is tirelessly advocating for privacy across the world. Welcome, Jason.

Jason:

Thanks for having me. I'm excited to be here.

Jamal:

We all face challenges in our careers and you've had a fantastic career and it continues to be great. And we wish you all the best with all of the great things that you have coming up at the IOPD. But can you walk us through a particularly challenging moment in your career, how you tackled it and what lessons that left you with?

Jason:

I could pick from a few. One that comes to mind is I spent years in a corporate role, and there were certain situations where the business really didn't take kindly to the fact that privacy and security were meddling in what they were doing.

Two particular departments come to mind, marketing and HR. It came to light because the H. R. department was using survey monkey to collect employees preferences on their benefits, like what percentage of your salary do you want to go to what benefit like healthcare or whatever?

It's been a while. I can't remember, this is potentially sensitive information. Maybe not special categories, but certainly personal data under GDPR and they were using the free version of survey monkey. The HR department, and they only had one username and password for the entire HR department, who was also doing things like, hey, what colour should our next logo be?

But I spent years banging my head against the wall, trying to get them to change. Never got them to change. So the lesson that I've learned is, to pick your battles . At some point you just have to walk away. You're not going to change people. You're not going to get them no matter how wrong you think they are You're not going to get them to do the right thing.

So two things I’ve done from that one is in social media I am happy to explain my situation if somebody genuinely comes back and says hey, I think you've got this wrong or I don't understand I'm happy to come back and give them an explanation I will not get engaged in social media debates.

It's a fruitless effort. They're not my client. They're not paying me. If they want to be wrong that's for them. I'm happy to try to explain to them, but if ultimately they don't want to agree, that's fine. And then the second thing, I get this question when I do talks all the time, people are like, this is great.

How do I get my executives on board? And I'm like, I don't have a silver bullet. I have been lucky enough, generally, in my position in consulting , generally companies come to me because they want to do the right thing, they just need to know how to do it. They just need help doing it, how? I don't have to convince them.

And unfortunately, if you're in a role where you're having to convince executives, again, I understand it's gonna be a little bit convincing, but if they're adamantly like, we don't care about privacy, we're gonna go a different way you're just gonna be frustrated in that role. Go find a better business to work for or just accept your fate and try to do the minimum.

My learning was don't stress yourself. In privacy, either just accept your position and do what you have to do the role or look for other places where you can have a better impact and just don't bang your head against the wall trying to convince people that are, yeah not able to be convinced. And I just want to add briefly, this is a kind of a separate note of I am very big on negotiation. A lot of people go into things and they're in this mode of accept it or reject it like that's the only 2 options and a lot of big companies will set us up for the kind of take it or leave it contract, but I'm always looking for opportunities to negotiate to get better position. I was in a full time role and I said to my boss who was a CISO, I want to do privacy by design full time. We've got 200 products. I want to do nothing but privacy by design because I was doing a lot of contract reviews, a lot of really laborious, boring stuff.

And I was like, I want to be creative and think about privacy and how it can be a brand differentiator for the company and his comment to me was, that's a part time role. You know what I did, I found somebody within the company to take my role and I said, I want to go part time and that was just unheard of. You don't go to your boss and say, I want to go part time. So anyway, I transitioned to part time. Somebody else laterally moved into my role. I was there to support them in that role and doing what I have been doing. But then I spent, basically like 15 hours a week, focusing only on privacy by design.

And again, don't feel trapped in a situation. See if you can negotiate. That's when I started doing consulting and training for other companies on the side so don't feel trapped and always be willing to negotiate. And look for win opportunity that are better for everybody rather than just take it as it is.

Jamal:

I like that. I like that. And I believe we should be flexible and we really need to be adaptable in the way we actually seek out solutions that are win. And you just gave a great example of how you wanted to do more privacy by design at work? And they said no you can't so someone could have just said okay No, I can't do that and carried on or look for a different role somewhere else But you actually said i'm going to find someone to replace me so then I can free myself up to do this part time role And because you created that solution it now meant that you was now able to go and start doing your own consultancy work and other interesting projects which has led you to become the recognized person you are in the industry right now actually, helping hundreds and thousands of people now.

Jason:

what's interesting with that one again, it was a win solution because the company got the person doing full time what I was doing. They moved laterally. They hadn't been earning because they were new to privacy. They had a CIPPE, they were a lawyer. But they were new to privacy.

So they didn't require as large a salary as I did. And then I moved part time. So from a company's perspective, they were still paying essentially the same amount of money, but they were getting one and a third the people. Then from my perspective, like you said, I focused on what I loved and it enabled me to work on growing and marketing my consulting business and, develop training for other companies.

So it was a win solution. That's why they went for it. But had I not proposed it, I would have either stayed in the job and been unhappy or went and looked for another job.

Jamal:

Thank you for sharing Jason, and I have so much to say on those things . We talk a lot about leadership. We talk a lot about communication and persuasion and influence At the Privacy Pros academy, maybe we can have a conversation about that another time. I want to say thank you very much for the time and for sharing all of these valuable insights and gems.

Jason:

Thanks for having me. If anybody has any questions about privacy by design, please feel free to reach out to me. I love discussing this and I love sharing my knowledge.

I view my role part time as a privacy professional who is doing this as a job and part time as a privacy advocate who wants to see more privacy in the world. So I have those dual roles. I do want to mention the Institute of Operational Privacy Design. We are a professional organization who is dedicated to creating standards and certifications around privacy by design.

We'd love to have new members, new volunteers, lots of opportunities there. So if anybody is interested in learning more about that organization please reach out. And we are also looking for beta companies who want to apply our standard and potentially get certified as some of our initial companies on board.

Jamal:

Okay, and if you're looking for more details on those, we will link the website in the show notes and also in the description below. So make sure you go check it out.

Jason:

Thanks, Jamal.

Outro:

If you enjoyed this episode, be sure to subscribe, like and share so you're notified when a new episode is released. Remember to join the Privacy Pros Academy Facebook group where we answer your questions. Thank you so much for listening. I hope you're leaving with some great things that will add value on your journey as a world class Privacy Pro.

Please leave us a comment. a four or five star review. And if you'd like to appear on a future episode of our podcast, or have a suggestion for a topic you'd like to hear more about, please send an email to team@kazient.co.uk. Until next time, peace be with you.

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