Privacy Pros Paint Positive Pay Picture


Privacy professionals are doing pretty well in the income department, particularly in the U.S. 

According to a recent study by the International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP) in partnership with privacy management software company OneTrust LLC in Atlanta, the average yearly salary for privacy pros across the world is $115,000. U.S.-based privacy professionals are doing much better on average ($130,000) than their EU counterparts ($95,800). The U.S.-side advantage doesn’t end there; U.S. privacy pros get higher bonuses and raises than their counterparts around the world. 

The high salaries may be predicated on the growing demand for professionals with knowledge of expanding data security and privacy requirements around the world. For example, the upcoming General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the ePrivacy Regulation provide for increased data security and privacy protections for companies wishing to do business in the bloc. And importantly, violations of the GDPR can lead to fines reaching upwards of 4 percent of a company’s annual revenue.

To illustrate, Alphabet Inc. earned $60.6 billion in fiscal year 2015 revenues. Under the GDPR formula, Google could face fines exceeding $2.4 billion from a single infraction. Having a privacy pro handy—or boxes of Alka-Seltzer—is a must for any company facing these high regulatory fines. 

The GDPR also calls for companies that do business in the EU to have a data protection officer. These privacy pros make a yearly average of $106,500. However, DPOs will have to navigate the GDPR and vie for increased salaries with their chief privacy officer counterparts. It is unclear how the DPOs “will interact with the CPO in privacy leadership, job responsibilities and salaries in the coming year,” the report said. 

IAPP, along with third-party research group Fondulas Strategic Research, received 900 responses from privacy professionals around the world. The research didn’t take into account “health care, pension benefits, vacation or family leave allowances,” IAPP said.  

Large scale breaches and the growing data privacy and security requirement popping up around the world are raising the demand for privacy professionals. It looks to be a banner year—if not decade—for privacy professional.

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