Meet Joe Schwarze, our Privacy Specialist

Alice Meadows's picture

ORCID has always been grounded by the 10 principles that guide our work and emphasize our commitment to being a respectful, reliable, inclusive, and accountable partner in the research community. This includes respecting the privacy of ORCID iD-holders, and their ability to control what information is connected to their ORCID record, whether that information is shared, and with whom. In late 2016, we launched our ORCID Trust Frameworkto provide greater transparency for the programs, policies, and practices that are foundational to our principles.

In December 2016, we further recognized our commitment to our principles and the Trust Framework by hiring Joe Schwarze as our Privacy Specialist, a new position focused on user privacy and data security..

Please tell us a bit about yourself

My full name is Joseph, but please call me Joe. I am originally from New Jersey, US - the very northern tip of what many people call the “Shore” (but no I am not like any of the characters in the TV show “Jersey Shore”!).  I am now based in Austin, Texas. I attended Stevens Institute of Technology, where I majored  in Cybersecurity; before joining ORCID, my professional career was focused on privacy concerns and regulatory compliance. Most of my recent work has been on the newly formed Privacy Shield program and the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

What interested you the most in this field and the position at ORCID?

I like to consider myself an oddball when it comes to security majors, as I was always more interested in the privacy and regulatory side as opposed to the technical security implementation, which most of colleagues preferred. One of my favorite projects in college was writing a research paper on HIPAA. I did an analysis on the regulations and penalties put in place by the act, and then tracked how many hands private information could potentially touch after an individual signs a consent form.

I share ORCID’s values and principles of transparency and user control, which is a key reason why I was interested in this position. Often we see organizations hide behind a wall of obscurity, but ORCID is proud of its privacy policies and I am excited to be part of the team.

You’ve been here for a few months now. What have you been up to so far?

It has been a busy first few months! My core role is to manage the ORCID Trust program and ensure that we stay true to our values and principles of transparency and user control. So, my first project was to lead this year’s annual re-certification of our privacy policy. Within my first week, I was already deep-diving the privacy policy for the annual re-certification. I’ve also been formalizing our internal training on privacy and data security..

What are your major projects for the rest of 2017?

In 2017 I plan to help formalize and continue to improve ORCID’s Trust Program. This work will include projects like reviewing our policies and practices for consistency with the program, and building materials to support our users and member organizations as they work with ORCID tools within the spirit of the program. I’ll also be monitoring global activity and trends as they relate to program topics like privacy, security, and transparency; I’ll incorporate what I learn to ensure that our Trust Program remains relevant.

How are you going to be intereacting with the ORCID community?

Aligning with ORCID’s commitment to transparency, the community needs to be part of the Trust program. We are therefore kicking off a Trust Working Group comprised of members of the community. This group will be crucial in providing input and feedback to the ORCID Board and staff as we continue to build and evolve this program.

In addition, I am looking forward to creating resources for the community, including a series of general blog posts about security and privacy. If you have any topics in which you are particularly interested, please let me know. ORCID is lucky to have a really active community and I look forward to hearing suggestions from you.

Finally, there is so much good work being done in the research and scholarship infrastructure community, and I expect to participate in these communities as well.

Any parting words?

I just want to reiterate how crucial community involvement is for the Trust program. Please send suggestions and feedback for how we are doing!