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GDPR-EU General Data Protection Regulation

It was in January 2017 that registration for taking Certified Information Privacy Professional/Europe certification began to outpace its domestic flagship counterpart, the CIPP/US. Flash-forward one year and the CIPP/E is now the most widely sought-after certification in the International Association of Privacy Professionals portfolio of accreditations. This shift is holistically attributed to the looming European Union General Data Protection Regulation going into effect on May 25, 2018, as well as a growing community of professionals, largely in legal, thirsty for greener career pastures.

The IAPP is currently testing nearly one thousand people a month for the CIPP/E. Of its 36,000 current members, 12,500 have passed and maintain at least one of the privacy certifications. The IAPP has existed for just over 15 years, and the EU’s GDPR may be the best thing that has ever happened to it or the industry.

The original core membership of the IAPP was largely lawyers. The IAPP started with fewer than 300 certified professionals in the early years, almost all of whom were chief privacy officers. Then came the compliance departments and regulatory agencies. Lately, talent from all areas of corporate, legal, marketing, human resources and government is rushing to become certified, because privacy is now becoming an operational component in how businesses run. Topics like record keeping, access control, network configuration and email proliferation as well as things like “the right to be forgotten” are all highly relevant and applicable to privacy best practices. Operationalizing something like the right to be forgotten can at first seem ethereal, but taking concept into practice is exactly what the IAPP aims to solve by providing a standardized approach and framework that professionalize the industry.

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