Privacy Non-Profit Announces Inaugural Board and Partnership With Big Data Start-Up to Bring Transparency to Internet Data Industry

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Data privacy non-profit appoints inaugural board to guide launch as an independent entity that represents a new way for data companies to build trust with enterprises and consumers. logo logo

The Internet happens in real time, and current standards and regulatory processes are too slow to keep pace, if they can come to agreement at all. DataNeutrality can spot and solve privacy issues much more quickly and in ways that are fair to all parties.

Data privacy non-profit today announced the inaugural board members who will guide its launch as an independent entity bringing a revolutionary way of thinking about Internet data.

DataNeutrality is committed to operational transparency and respect for privacy, and aims to increase awareness of the need for businesses to take control of their data. Numerous studies have shown consumer concern is on the rise regarding Internet data collection, and corporations lose billions each year to data leakage.

In addition to becoming a voice on these important issues, DataNeutrality will participate in a groundbreaking private partnership by serving as the privacy and data governance auditor and policy advisor to Mezzobit, a New York start-up with cloud-based services that optimize Internet data collection for digital publishers and marketers.

“The Internet happens in real time, and current standards and regulatory processes are too slow to keep pace, if they can come to agreement at all,” said DataNeutrality Executive Director Sharon Christiansen Geddes, CIPP/G, CIPP/IT. “The board will help us spot and solve potential privacy issues in ways that are fair to all parties without having to wait for industry or regulatory authorities.”

“From my years as a digital executive, I saw the need to solve the technology problems around data collection, as well as make data flows transparent and controllable,” said Mezzobit CEO Joseph Galarneau. “Mezzobit, in collaboration with DataNeutrality, fills an important market need to bring balance to how data is handled.”

“We are excited to see DataNeutrality launch with such experienced data privacy and digital professionals,” added Joseph Titlebaum, Mezzobit’s Chief Legal and Privacy Officer. “Consumer data powers the free Internet, and we want to be sure that data is collected and managed in a way that serves the needs of both consumers and the websites they visit.”

In addition to the new board, the initial management team for DataNeutrality includes Geddes, a privacy attorney with a background in data audits, and Senior Advisor Kevin McKean, a former vice president of Consumers Union and editorial director of Consumer Reports.

The initial DataNeutrality board members hail from the worlds of advertising, educational testing, digital media and academia, thus assuring a balanced approach to trust assurance. In alphabetical order, they are:

  • Christopher Bonavia. Bonavia is an experienced digital media, copyright and entertainment lawyer and serves as Vice President, Business and Legal Affairs in the Digital Music Group at Universal Music. He has been involved with several revolutionary digital media platforms, including XM Satellite Radio, where he handled arrangements with recording artists, media personalities and branded entertainment products. More recently, Bonavia has worked in the music industry, negotiating digital and mobile distribution deals through emerging platforms. Bonavia is also a recording artist in his own right with his band Juniper Lane and is a member of the Recording Academy.
  • Allen Brandt, CIPP/US, CIPP/E, CIPM. Brandt is corporate counsel, data protection and privacy, and chief privacy official for GMAC, which runs the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) taken by prospective graduate business students in 111 countries. He provides legal guidance and counsel on U.S. and domestic consumer privacy issues, creates data protection policies, responds to privacy inquiries, and leads the privacy training program. He also monitors compliance with the GMAC’s marketing programs and oversees the filing of international data processing applications and notices. Allen also serves on the Board of Directors of the International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP).
  • Lisa Grant, CISSP, CIPP, founder of Grant is an experienced attorney and data security and privacy professional who has held positions at PricewaterhouseCoopers, VeriSign, and IBM. She currently works in technology security, policy and governance at a global entertainment and media company. Grant also created, a consumer rights non-profit dedicated to educating the public about consumer privacy and internet security. Among other services, SecurPrivacy offers workshops to local parent-teacher associations, school administrators, and community centers about online safety.
  • Panagiota Kelali, Associate Director, Center for Information Technology & Privacy Law (CITPL) at The John Marshall Law School in Chicago. Kelali is a member of the CITPL Adjunct Faculty and has taught global privacy law, social media and ethics, and information technology and privacy law. Prior to joining John Marshall, Kelali was a practicing attorney in Athens, Greece focusing on data protection and civil law issues. She was a non-resident Fellow at the Center for Internet and Society at Stanford Law School from 2006-2008. Her research is in data protection and privacy, copyright and intellectual property law.
  • Brent Phelps, Chief Operating Officer, AdPrime Media. Phelps is responsible for AdPrime’s product development, technology, and strategic direction. A start-up veteran with more than 15 years' experience in product, marketing, operations, and business development, Phelps has a solid track record of successfully scaling businesses. His prior positions include: SVP Business Development and Operations at Health Guru, where he was responsible for developing the company's video technology and network; VP of Online Marketing at Flix55; Principal Managing Editor at; VP of Marketing at PunchStock & Uppercut Images; and VP of Product Management at Index Stock Imagery.

About DataNeutrality is a voice for responsible and transparent data practices and serves as a policy advisor and privacy watchdog for private companies looking to enhance their corporate responsibility. As a not-for-profit organization that will achieve independence in the coming months, DataNeutrality embodies a new paradigm in privacy and compliance engineering, with principles from privacy-by-design and Regulation 2.0 open governance. Twitter Facebook LinkedIn

About Mezzobit: Named by AlleyWatch as one of the ten hottest early-stage start-ups in NYC, Mezzobit has a turnkey solution for digital publishers and marketers that brings control to internet data collection and sharing. Mezzobit also enables visibility and control of third-party data collection, helping to stem the flow of data leakage that now costs billions each year in lost advertising and sales revenue. Its free core platform also dramatically accelerates website performance while cutting IT maintenance. Mezzobit is committed to maintaining the highest standards of data transparency and respect for consumer privacy. The company’s founders are former digital media and tech executives, with years of experience at KPMG, Newsweek, XM Satellite Radio, and New York Magazine. Twitter Facebook LinkedIn

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