In our first reader-submitted Q&A, Cristina Costache describes the ever-changing nature of working in privacy
What is your full job title?
Privacy Lead EMEA.
Which industry do you work in? (data protection/security/privacy) How long have you worked in the industry?
I would say privacy as I see it as including data protection nowadays. I am a legal professional with almost 20 years’ experience. My focus changed a little over 4 years ago towards privacy. In my current privacy role the legal and leadership experience.
How long have you worked in your current role?
Almost two years. It’s funny because it seems longer. So much has happened since my appointment.
How did you get into your current role?
It was an organizational need. We tried a decentralized scheme and we realised quickly that we needed one person to coordinate the hottest region from privacy perspective. I was chosen to lead the European cluster.
What does a typical day look like?
It used to be airport, hotel, meetings, office, and so on. Nowadays, lots of calls and collaborative platforms. We are currently aligning the organizations to the privacy framework I custom built. Seeing that we were at different stages of maturity with the local programs the 2020 aim was the alignment to the GDPR inspired organizational controls.
What is your greatest achievement so far?
We had a huge jump of maturity on the privacy programme. Aligning the EU and the non-EU organizations to the same base-line is a huge undertaking. Fortunately I have allies both at central and local level. Everyone understood the stakes and I get a lot of support in this great endeavour.
What is the most challenging thing about your role?
Driving the organizational change. As I am also one of the promotors of digital transformation I am a driver for change. This is what I find being most challenging.
What part of your role do you enjoy the most?
The every day novelty. Legislation is changing at such a rapid pace and of course the business does not stand still. This means that in the privacy realm nobody can say that they are not challenged. I love the fact that I am in the middle of everything. It’s like being at the beginning of the industrialization and realizing that everything will change.
How do you see your role/industry changing in the next few years?
I see it growing. As a driver of business growth is change my role will become more and more present in every day decision-making.
Would you recommend working in this role? Please give your reasons.
Sure I would. It is balanced from background perspective, it has a little bit of everything, it is not static, it is changing all the time. My advice would be if you like learning every day and enjoy challenges then become a privacy professional. What we do impacts much more than the organization we work for.