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Why Privacy and Security Are Two Sides of the Same Coin

At the NASCIO Annual Conference Monday, Washington state Chief Privacy Officer Katy Ruckle explained that data privacy and cybersecurity are different, but you can’t have one without the other.

Washington Chief Privacy Officer Katy Ruckle
Washington Chief Privacy Officer Katy Ruckle
Government Technology/David Kidd
SEATTLE — At the NASCIO Annual Conference in Seattle, Katy Ruckle recalled something she’d heard that is very relevant to not only her position as Washington's chief privacy officer, but also all government technology operations in 2021: “You can have security without privacy, but you can’t have privacy without security.”

She explained that the two go hand in hand as IT officials at all levels of government work to protect both internal systems and the personal citizen data they hold.

An increasing number of states in recent years have appointed chief privacy officers like Ruckle, and Washington state was early to the game, having created the position in 2015. Together with her colleagues at Washington Technology Solutions, Ruckle has developed privacy principles to help agencies identify their data resources, including lawful, fair and responsible use; transparency and accountability; and due diligence.

But Ruckle’s role in Washington is not only about making sure agencies consider the implications of the data they hold. It’s also about “helping the agencies think about where in the organization privacy fits,” she explained, “because it’s not a one-size-fits-all proposition.”
Lauren Kinkade is the managing editor for Government Technology magazine. She has a degree in English from the University of California, Berkeley, and more than 15 years’ experience in book and magazine publishing.
e.Republic Executive Editor Noelle Knell is a contributing editor to Emergency Management magazine.