chief privacy officer
n. A corporate executive in charge of maintaining the privacy of company and customer data.

Example Citation:
Good security is tough to maintain, but it's simplicity itself compared with the morass of privacy concerns for organizations. ... For that reason, some companies are creating a new job title: chief privacy officer. ... American Express, AT&T, DoubleClick, Excite@Home, General Motors, IBM, Mutual of Omaha Insurance, and Verizon are among the organizations that have appointed CPOs in recent months. Dr. Alan Westin, publisher of Privacy & American Business, estimates there are now 200 to 300 CPOs in the United States, including many in the financial and health-care sectors.
—Lee Schlesinger, "Hire a chief privacy officer to keep sensitive material private, ZDNet AnchorDesk, May 8, 2001

Earliest Citation:
In mid-May, the DOJ's leadership was scrambling to comply with a presidential directive calling on all federal agencies to designate a 'chief privacy officer' to handle technology and privacy issues.
—Sam Skolink, "Raymond Fisher Is Settling In As Associate Ag, But His Drive To Improve Management Strikes Critics As A Turf Grab," Legal Times, July 6, 1998

The emergence of privacy as a major concern for both individuals and corporations is reflected in the fact that, if we can believe the above citation, the U.S. alone has at least a couple of hundred CPOs acting in an appropriately paranoid fashion, yet the title "chief privacy officer" seems to have been in existence only since about 1998, judging by the earliest citation.

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