Sanford to address privacy reform on a global scale



For many, privacy equates security, whether it be personal security, home security or national security.

At 4 p.m. today in the Hall of Philosophy, Adriana Sanford hopes to communicate the need for Americans to think about privacy not just within the context of their own backyards, but on a global scale.

Sanford is the incoming Lincoln Professor of Global Corporate Compliance and Ethics at Arizona State University, as well as a clinical associate professor of law and international management in ASU’s W. P. Carey School of Business. Her lecture, “Privacy, Ethics, and Money, Money, Money” is part of the Lincoln Applied Ethics Series at Chautauqua Institution.

“My topic is on, basically, looking at privacy and ethics from a business perspective,” said Sanford, who has served as the primary U.S. counsel to several multinational businesses, including one of the largest international trading companies in the Southern Cone region — Argentina, Chile and Uruguay.

“So if you are a consumer, if you are in the public eye, or if you are a company, then it’s going to affect you in different ways,” she said. “Depending on the topic, privacy will hit you differently.”

Sanford will also discuss the recent European Union data protection reform and how such changes will affect businesses and daily life in the United States.

Sanford said the message she will deliver will be a hopeful one.

“There are a lot of individuals who are concerned with where we are going, and there’s a lot of concern with regard to our data and the breaches that have occurred,” she said. “We are going to see a lot of changes next year with this upcoming EU data protection reform, and it will affect us here in this country. I believe that there is going to be a lot of positive change.”

As an attorney, Sanford’s focus is comparative law. But as a Chilean-American with dual citizenship and fluency in four languages, her passion is international privacy.  

“I analyze the way we look at privacy as far as where it stems from in this country and how people here view privacy,” she said. “They relate more to searches and seizures and the Constitution, versus a country in the EU where they see privacy as a basic human right.”

With the global marketplace and international interactions changing all the time, there is a demand for updates concerning privacy law.

“In the same way that the EU is reforming their laws, I think the way we look at privacy and the tests that we use to determine whether we have a right to privacy needs to be changed,” Sanford said. “What I see is that there will be some changes, and I am hopeful that those changes will modify or change our positions with regard to our laws as well.”

Growing up in both Chile and the United States, Sanford is particularly interested and invested in the way decisions made in the United States have global consequences, especially in light of the recent EU decisions.

“Because those modifications are not only going to affect the Americans, they’re going to affect the rest of the world, I’ve been in conversation with a lot of diplomats in Chile as well and asking them if they’re ready,” said Sanford. “UK businesses are not ready. US businesses are not ready for the changes. Chileans are getting ready.”

Sanford said that she hopes people leave her lecture with more of a global mindset concerning privacy and change, as well as with an awareness of America’s interconnectivity with the rest of the world.

“It’s not only our problem,” she said. “Our problems affect others. Together we can find the solutions.”