Jane Horvath at Apple on the future of online privacy

Courtesy of Apple / Design Leah Romero

men ELLE.com”Monthly office hours We ask people in powerful positions to take us through their first jobs, their worst jobs, and everything in between. This month, we spoke with AppleSelf-proclaimed Chief Privacy Officer Jane Horvath Forrest Gump of Privacy,Who started her career in AOL As one of the youngest lawyers on the team before joining the Department of Justice, Google, and eventually Apple. As president of the company‘s Privacy, policy and regulation team, Horvath is responsible for all legal matters, advising on products, and defending strong privacy rights in high-profile cases such as the 2015 terrorist attack in San Bernardino, California, where the FBI recovered the suspectiPhone locked. I feel so lucky,“she says. You have been in these important moments in privacy; Every day I wake up and never know what I’m going to face. But I always feel like I’ve got the best of both worlds: I can exercise civil liberties and work somewhere that really views privacy as a basic human right. In fact, data protection is the subject of an Apple announcement just released. Below, the privacy expert talks about best practices, professional advice, and why protecting your personality online is more important than ever.

My first job

During my first application until my last year of high school, I worked at Baskin Robbins. While Apple was my first job, this was one of the most enjoyable for me. I worked there with all my good friends at home in Alexandria, Virginia – one of them was my boss, and he would fire me periodically for not wearing the ugly brown hat. When you’re in high school, you don’t want to wear an ugly brown hat. That experience taught me some really valuable lessons about hourly work, and how many hours it takes to pay for one nice sweater. I also learned that the customer is always right: Even if you think you’ve got your scoop of ice cream right, sometimes you don’t.

Jane Horvath

Designed by Lea Romero

my worst work

Work for a government contractor as a programmer. Even though I had a degree in computer science, every time we walked into the boardroom, I was always mistaken for being a secretary. This is getting old, but I think it really gave me the motivation to get out and take the LSAT. (My roommate at the time—still one of my closest friends—was taking it, and she didn’t want to do it herself.) Saturday? But I took it and [my score] I did well, so I went to law school instead. I thank her to this day. She was really responsible for my career.

How did it feel to join Apple

The irony is that when I graduated from William & Mary, my dream job at that point was working for Apple. I didn’t get a job with Apple, so it was just feeling too late to be satisfied. I would say I’m a Forrest Gump for privacy. When I was working at AOL as a startup, I was able to craft what might be the first ever privacy policy, because I was the youngest attorney on the team and we got a search warrant from the FBI for a bunch of content. Then I went to the Department of Justice, which was after 9/11 – a very fraught time for civil liberties – and took on a congressional assignment to protect privacy. From there, I went to Google, where I got a very good introduction to the world of the Internet and all the problems there.

Apple’s business model is completely different. Since my first meeting, when we were discussing what data engineers can collect from the device, a colleague told me, We might be able to piece this data together into all the other data we collect and identify someone in some way, and we don’t want to do that.” I thought, Wow, you’ve come to a place that really protects privacy. During the San Bernardino case, we were asked to unlock a phone in which it was found [the suspect’s] The car, and it was a really tough discussion. We would have unlocked this phone if we could unlock it and not affect every other phone, but we couldn’t, and so we decided we wanted to protect all of our customers and resist the government’s demand to build an operating system that would have made every other phone vulnerable.

Ways to protect your privacy online

If an option appears, read carefully and pay attention. Each site has several options that make it more complicated, but if you’re on the iOS platform, we’ve really tried to make these options simple and actionable, whether you’re reviewing privacy feed labels, looking at your app’s privacy report, or checking from your privacy settings. And Think. Pause when one of these chests appears, and read a little about what it has to say. Also, go back and look at the choices I’ve made, because even I, in the throes of wanting something, make certain choices. This, and always think before posting. The data appears, and it is very difficult to recover it.

Best professional advice I’ve ever received

A clever person once told me when I was young that when the road comes, you should take that road sometimes. Looking back, if I had put myself in stone on one career path, I would never have sat here, because privacy wasn’t even a specialty for the first seven years of practicing law – there was no such thing as a privacy attorney. With every turn in my career, I’ve always thought, Well, you know what I can do with this, if it does not work out, there are other opportunities to come back. Sometimes taking this step can be difficult, but try not to always focus on the future, and take these opportunities when they come your way, because you may find yourself in a new discipline just like I did.

Jane Horvath

Designed by Lea Romero

Why privacy is more important than ever

A lot of people will say, “Privacy doesn’t matter to me at all; I don’t care, everyone can take my data,” but then you pick up the newspaper, and if you lived on the East Coast, there was a period where you couldn’t fill up your car because the pipeline was held hostage by software ransom It’s about data and that’s about security, and in the end, if you don’t have security, you don’t have privacy. So every day you hear or read about different raids…the ads are big right now, and I think people would be totally surprised at how much data there is in the B2B world around. This is something we try very hard to bring to our customers’ attention, not because we want them to make a choice one way or the other, but because we actually want them to be aware of it.

My approach to managing my online identity

As a parent, and because I’ve been in privacy for so long through various movements, I would say I’m not very active online. I tend to be someone with very close personal autonomy. My daughter is 18 and we had a long conversation about a lot of the problems kids are currently facing on the internet. I think it would shock a lot of people to find out how common sexting is among the teenage group – we’ve had conversations about it. She once told me a story about a girl who shared a nude photo with her boyfriend at the time that went viral all over the internet. When you begin to think of privacy as controlling what the world thinks of you, and your own personal autonomy, every time you hit share or share, you don’t back down — you give a little of yourself to the world.

Now, kids have these complete social personalities that they have to form. I’ve had moments in my life where I could reinvent myself, from high school to college, from college to law school, you could leave everything behind. Now, you have such a lot of data wasted, then peer pressure to post constantly and you always look like you’re having such a great time.

How have you dealt with changing privacy laws?

I’ve been at Apple for 10 years, and the regulatory framework is getting tighter. Europe is leading the way primarily in terms of privacy laws – we had to put in place a stricter compliance function, and as more laws come in, you have to make sure the company complies with those laws. For the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which is the European version, we have basically committed to giving our customers the same user rights as Europeans, no matter where they are located. We have built a global compliance function to ensure that all of our customers are in an advantageous position to have the same user rights as Europe.

A lesson learned the hard way

Autofill. Sometimes you need to really look before you send a text message. Make sure the address you’re sending it to when autofilling is really that address. The other is privacy cleaner. Every month or so, I come back and say, “What? Why did you give this app access to the location in the background?” The beauty of the way we designed things is that you can go back and look at the choices you made and exercise control again.

This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.

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