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Make Data Work
Oct 15–17, 2014 • New York, NY

Wonk, Meet Geek

Jim Adler (Metanautix)
11:50am–12:30pm Thursday, 10/16/2014
Law, Ethics & Open Data
Location: 1 E10/1 E11
Average rating: ****.
(4.50, 6 ratings)
Slides:   1-PPTX 

Wonk, Meet Geek: Big Data Technology For Big Data Compliance

Bad press, FTC consent decrees, White House reports, and Congressional hearings have all put a spotlight on the bad and ugly of data practices that are privacy-invasive and leave us vulnerable to cyberattack. Data scientists and product designers have become increasingly aware of the Fair Information Practice Principles (FIPPs) and how they should guide responsible data innovation. So, the geeks have met the wonks.

Now it’s time for the wonks to meet the geeks. To keep pace with mushrooming data volumes and velocities, privacy wonks (aka, compliance professionals) must adopt big data tools for big data compliance. For example, next generation data flow analytics provides near real-time visibility into who saw what data, when they saw it, what they used it for, and whether those uses were appropriate. They provide a bird’s eye view of all data across the enterprise, allow easy tagging of sensitive data flows, and alert on unauthorized access and inappropriate use.

The fact is that privacy professionals are responsible for the ever growing data flows through their organizations. Traditional compliance tools, like contracts and episodic audits, are buckling under the deluge of data volumes and velocities. Frankly, contracts and audits are necessary, but woefully insufficient.

This talk will discuss recent experience with the new arsenal of data analytics that’s available to privacy professionals, especially data flow analytics. We’ll also discuss lessons learned navigating the business and legal cultures critical to making effective use of these new compliance tools. It’s time for privacy wonks to fully embrace data technology and operationally monitor the data flows where so much of their responsibilities lie.

Photo of Jim Adler

Jim Adler


Jim is a business executive, entrepreneur, and thought leader on big data, privacy, security, and voting systems. Currently, Jim is Vice President of Products and Chief Privacy Officer at Metanautix. He also serves on the The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Data Privacy and Integrity Advisory Committee (DPIAC) providing advice at the request of the Secretary of Homeland Security and the DHS Chief Privacy Officer.

Most recently, Jim was Vice President, Data Systems at inome and the first Chief Privacy Officer at Intelius. Jim led the big data team that powers the company’s products as well as serving as its chief consumer advocate. Prior to inome and Intelius, Jim served as president and chief technology officer at, an Internet company giving consumers control of their online identity and reputation. He was the founder and CEO of VoteHere, a pioneer in the development of private and secure electronic voting. He is a co-inventor of patents related to cryptographic voting and digital signatures. Jim has also served on the advisory boards of the Future of Privacy Forum and Helios Voting. Jim received his bachelor’s degree with high honors in electrical engineering from the University of Florida and his master’s degree in electrical and computer engineering from the University of California, San Diego.