The Office of the State Auditor (Office) today announced the appointment of Whitney A. Phillips, Ph.D. to the newly created position of State Privacy Officer.
As State Privacy Officer, Dr. Phillips will focus on the privacy practices of designated governmental entities, including cities, counties, school districts, higher education, and colleges and universities. This focus includes responsibility to:
• Analyze and report on government privacy practices
• Provide educational and training materials
• Identify privacy practices that pose the greatest risk to individual privacy and prioritize those privacy practices for review
• Respond to requests from individuals to review a designated government entity’s privacy practice
• Make privacy recommendations to the State Legislature
Dr. Phillips will also work with the Personal Privacy Oversight Commission, also authorized by HB 243 during the 2021 General Legislative Session.
Dr. Phillips served as the Chief Privacy Officer for the Utah State Board of Education since 2016. She has held a variety of prior positions in education and government. She is a Certified Information Privacy Manager (CIPM) and a Certified Information Privacy Professional (CIPP). Dr. Phillips received her Ph.D. in Educational Inquiry, Measurement, and Evaluation from Brigham Young University. She also earned her M.Ed. from the University of Utah in Special Education, an M.A. in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages from BYU and her B.A. in English Teaching Secondary Education also from BYU.
Dr. Phillips said, “The State of Utah is a national leader in recognizing that along with our adoption of technology, we must consider serious threats and vulnerabilities to both our systems and individual freedoms. I look forward to building public trust for all Utahns through collaboration from all levels and government divisions to balance government accountability and personal liberty.”
State Auditor John Dougall commented, “Dr. Phillips’ experience as the Chief Privacy Officer for the State Board of Education, as well as her prior experience and significant educational accomplishments make her an excellent fit for the newly created position of State Privacy Officer. I look forward to her work to help governmental entities strengthen their privacy practices to better protect every Utahn’s sensitive personal data.”