NEW YORK - Verizon has appointed Kathleen Zanowic as chief privacy officer, in charge of the company's industry-leading privacy program.
Zanowic, formerly a vice president in the company's federal government relations team in Washington, D.C., will be responsible for articulating and ensuring compliance with Verizon's privacy principles and identifying all privacy laws, regulations, industry policies and consumer trends affecting the company, its employees and customers. She succeeds Margo Hammar, who has another assignment at Verizon.
In 1994, one of Verizon's predecessor companies, NYNEX, became one of the first major companies in the United States to appoint a chief privacy officer, beginning over a decade of Verizon leadership in privacy - an issue of vital importance to consumers and corporations. Verizon was also one of the first companies to develop and then publish on its Web site a discrete set of privacy principles aimed at protecting consumers' privacy.
Sarah Deutsch, Verizon vice president and associate general counsel, said, "Privacy is and will continue to be a critical issue for all consumers, which is why we have, for the last decade, taken a leadership role in making sure we pay close attention to privacy matters as part of our day-to-day operations. I look forward to Kathy's leadership in this area."
Verizon is well known in the Internet industry for its two-year defense of the personal privacy, due process and safety rights of its Verizon Online customers against attempts by the Recording Industry of America to obtain the identity of alleged copyright violators without proper judicial procedures. The U.S. Supreme Court in October 2004 upheld the finding of the District of Columbia Circuit Court of Appeals, which ruled that requests to obtain a customer's personal information required a judge-ordered subpoena rather than a one-page form filed with a court clerk. Verizon was also one of the first companies to adopt guidelines and policies prohibiting the use of adware or spyware in order to protect its customers.
Zanowic said, "As Verizon continues as an industry leader in the creation of new communications services to better serve our customers, an unwavering focus on customer privacy will continue to be an integral part of what we do. We have made a commitment to our customers to conduct business in accordance with our privacy principles and, at the same time, we remain diligent in ensuring that our principles continue to address emerging privacy concerns."
Zanowic assumes the role of chief privacy officer after working for Verizon and its predecessor companies for 20 years. During her role in federal government relations in Washington, she specialized in communications policy related to the Internet, privacy, antitrust and telecom-cable competition. Before that, she helped develop regulatory policy and implementation strategies for the company's first efforts to enter the video business. She also held positions in product management and cost development.
Zanowic received a bachelor's degree in industrial engineering from Lehigh University, and a master of business administration degree from George Washington University.
Hammar was appointed Verizon's chief privacy officer in 2004 and held that position for two years before recently moving over to the Verizon Legal team in charge of national security compliance and export controls.
Verizon's privacy principles can be found on the Web at: http://www22.verizon.com/privacy/
Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ), a Dow 30 company, is a leader in delivering broadband and other communication innovations to wireline and wireless customers. Verizon operates America's most reliable wireless network, serving 51.3 million customers nationwide; one of the most expansive wholly-owned global IP networks; and one of the nation's premier wireline networks, serving home, business and wholesale customers. Based in New York, Verizon has a diverse workforce of approximately 250,000 and generates annual consolidated operating revenues of approximately $90 billion. For more information, visit www.verizon.com.