“It’s our thesis that privacy will be an integral part of the next wave in the technology revolution and that innovators who are emphasizing privacy as an integral part of the product life cycle are on the right track.” —The Privacy Engineer’s Manifesto, 2014

Privacy in an always and increasingly connected world is a complex topic. Does privacy mean the same thing it did 20—or even 10 years ago—before we all used smartphones and social media? How does data that we generate in our connected day tell a story, become monetized, and get purposed and repurposed? How do vendors ensure that privacy is designed into products and services?

These are issues that Michelle Finneran Dennedy, a leading authority on privacy, corporate policies, and the protection of the Internet, is passionate about—and so is Cisco. So I’m very pleased to say that Michelle joined Cisco as Vice President and Chief Privacy Officer today. Simply stated, welcome, Michelle!

Security and Trust are differentiators in the market, and Michelle’s role as Chief Privacy Officer is central to Cisco’s vision and strategy. Her industry thought leadership, legal experience, and product and service design focus will complement our existing Trust and Security investment, broaden our bench strength in a critical area for the Internet, and help inform our product and services development lifecycle so we account for privacy in today’s fast-paced technology world.

As more countries, companies, and organizations take advantage of cloud, mobile, fog computing, and the Internet of Everything, privacy plays an increasingly important role in critical decision making, product design, and service offerings. We’re all in!

Michelle previously served as Chief Privacy Officer at Intel Security and Sun Microsystems, and as vice president of Security and Product Solutions at Oracle.  She founded The iDennedy Project, is the founder and editor-in-chief of TheIdentityProject.com, and is a co-author of The Privacy Engineer’s Manifesto. Michelle has a JD from Fordham University School of Law and a BS degree from Ohio State. Follow her on Twitter @mdennedy for her thought-provoking and entertaining observations about technology and more.