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Chief Privacy Officer (CPO)

A Chief Privacy Officer (CPO) is a corporate executive charged with developing and implementing policies designed to protect employee and customer data from unauthorized access. 

A privacy policy explains how an organization handles any customer, client or employee information gathered in its operations. A corporate privacy policy should also explain practices and procedures designed to ensure that privacy requirements are met.

Other elements of the CPO job include maintaining a comprehensive and current knowledge of both corporate operations and privacy laws, as well as communicating details of the company's privacy policy to staff and customers alike. The CPO is typically the organization's point person for media and other external inquiries about privacy-related matters. 

To effectively meet the challenges of the job, the CPO must work in cooperation with other C-level executives, particularly those whose areas of concern overlap, such as the Chief Information Officer (CIO), the Chief Security Officer (CSO), the Chief Data Officer (CDO) and the Chief Compliance Officer (CCO).

This was last updated in October 2014

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