Inslee announces hire of Alex Alben as state’s first Chief Privacy Officer

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Gov. Jay Inslee today announced the creation of a new Chief Privacy Officer position within the Office of the Chief Information Officer. Technology business veteran Alex Alben was hired to fill the role.

Washington is one of the first states to establish a privacy officer dedicated to examining privacy policies across state agencies. This will help Washington develop forward-looking privacy practices and strengthen protections of personal data.

“With new technologies that increasingly impact consumer privacy, protection of privacy must be a core value for our state government,” Inslee said. “We want to be a leader in this field, to improve the security protecting the data the state collects while also building upon our strong tradition of transparency and open government.”

Alben will lead efforts to manage the risks and impacts of laws and policies in a rapidly changing privacy environment to help state government uphold and update current privacy laws.

“As technology evolves in the world of big data and cloud computing, privacy policy will only become more complex,” said Alben. “We need to balance the rights of individuals, First Amendment concerns, our state’s public disclosure requirements and the needs of law enforcement. Washington state’s desire to become a leader in best practices and consumer protection is highly encouraging and I look forward to working with state agencies and leaders in this new role.”

Alben was formerly general counsel of Starwave Corporation and served in senior management at RealNetworks, Inc. He has lectured on intellectual property, entrepreneurship and technology issues at Stanford Law School, U.C. Berkeley and the University of Washington School of Law. Alben is the author of “Analog Days—How Technology Rewrote Our Future.” He is a graduate of Stanford University and Stanford Law School. He serves on the Stanford Law School’s Law, Science and Technology Board. He is a trustee of Cornish College of the Arts and lectures for Humanities Washington.

“Alex brings a wealth of private sector and policy experience to this new post,” added Michael Cockrill, the state’s chief information officer. “Alex’s background in law and advocacy of privacy rights will enrich our ability to get in front of new issues and help shape Washington’s privacy policies in the digital era.”

Media Contacts

Ben Vaught​
Office of the Chief Information Officer