Privacy never seemed to be a probable or intended path for Shane Wiley, now chief privacy officer at Cuebiq and former vice president of privacy at Oath. In fact, he was “tricked” into becoming an expert.
Wiley began as a software engineer and after eight years began leading product management teams. When Yahoo acquired Overture, where he managed products, “there was this thing called privacy that they wanted someone to look after, and because I was in international, where privacy seemed to be more of a concern, I was asked to take on that responsibility.”
He worked at Yahoo in 2016 when the company reported two major data breaches of user account to hackers. Data associated with 500 million and three billion customer accounts, respectively, were stolen. It was the biggest breach in history.
Tuesday is Privacy Day 2020, so Data and Programmatic Insider caught up with Wiley to talk about his career as the former lead for the global privacy and data governance at Yahoo for 14 years, and how he led the GDPR technical implementation and merger of AOL and Yahoo.
Data & Programmatic Insider: Does privacy online exist?
Wiley: Absolutely. There is absolutely the ability for people to learn and control their data to a degree. It needs to be improved significantly. It’s not one hundred percent perfect, but I also don’t believe it’s nonexistent. Laws like CCPA help to continue to move us through the spectrum to reach a more privacy-responsible marketplace.
D&PI: Do you think initiatives to eliminate tracking cookies in browsers, such as Google’s and Apple’s, will help with privacy?
Wiley: It does, but I think they both are being self-invested in their moves. In Apple’s case, the more they tighten on privacy, the more it focuses app providers to charge for their services, and then Apple receives a higher percentage of those fees that travel through the App Store.
Similar with Google’s announcement to retract support for cookies within two years, they are in place offering their own targeting services. In both cases, their advancements in privacy are welcomed, but they are self-serving from a business perspective.
D&PI: Is there a way for them to be less self-serving and still protect consumers?
Wiley: Yes, but Google and Apple need to take more time to understand the impact and their network effect of privacy changes and predict how they can bridge the gaps as they create them through operating systems and technology.
D&PI: Do you think Microsoft will join Google now that its Edge browser is built on Google Chromium?
Wiley: I have not heard anything, but Microsoft began this approach early on. Microsoft’s biggest initiative was that they would apply CCPA throughout the United States and perhaps globally.
Mozilla has been the most proactive in privacy. With Safari on mobile phones, Apple came second with Intelligent Tracking Protection. Around the time Microsoft moved from Internet Explorer to Edge, they made the proposal to the W3C that eventually became known as Do Not Track.
D&PI: What are your thoughts on CCPA and GDPR?
Wiley: There’s much more coming in CCPA. I have a mixed perspective. In general, all privacy legislation is positive because it’s advancing privacy and driving stronger requirements and risk for noncompliance. The downside is that they are all different to some degree.
As someone supporting a company like Cuebiq, it’s somewhat daunting to understand where to draw the lines and find the common denominators to comply with all privacy legislation. At Cuebiq we we are somewhat insulated, because we built -- to the degree we could -- a future-proof program using GDPR as the guidelines and adopted them globally and upgraded them by implementing procedures difficult to predict.
We feel our program will comply with any forthcoming laws that occur within the next three to five years such as in Washington State, New York, California, Virginia, and Nebraska.
D&PI: What is CPRA?
Wiley: Alastair Mactaggart, who led the initial ballot initiative that became CCPA is back with another ballot initiative to upgrade CCPA with stronger enforcement and new definitions.
If we look at his previous success as an indicator, this week be successful as well. Then we have federal proposals from Democrats and Republicans.