Microsoft Fills Top Privacy Post

Peter Cullen of the Royal Bank of Canada will fill the position.

Microsoft Corp. on Monday announced that it has hired Peter Cullen of the Royal Bank of Canada to fill the top privacy post at the company. The job had been vacant since Richard Purcell left earlier this year.

Under the companys Trustworthy Computing strategy, privacy plays a key role in the way that Microsoft develops its applications and policies. Cullen, who will begin work July 14, will report directly to Scott Charney, now chief Trustworhty Computing Strategist.

Cullen has been working on the issue of privacy and data protection for more than 10 years, according to Microsoft officials, and will essentially serve as the customers privacy advocate inside the company.

"Peter Cullen has the experience to drive Microsofts commitment to privacy protections to the next level. With his deep background in privacy and data protection practices and their relationship to customer value, Peter will be an effective advocate for strong and innovative consumer privacy safeguards," Charney said. "We look forward to having Peter apply his experiences and skills to benefit Microsofts customers and partners through the privacy pillar of our Trustworthy Computing initiative."

Cullen has some work ahead of him. Microsoft, based in Redmond, Wash., has often been the target of criticism from privacy advocates, consumer groups and customers as a result of its privacy policies, especially those surrounding its Passport authentication service. As a result, the company made privacy one of the four pillars of Trustworhty Computing. Before he left, Purcell had developed a system for scoring the way that Microsofts applications handle privacy.

While at the Royal Bank of Canada, Cullen helped establish the banks Corporate Privacy Group, the first of its kind at a Canadian bank. He had been at the bank for 27 years.