City of Seattle Hires Ginger Armbruster as Chief Privacy Officer

Chief Privacy Officer Ginger Armbruster

Chief Privacy Officer Ginger Armbruster

The City of Seattle selected Ginger Armbruster as the City’s Chief Privacy Officer. The Chief Privacy Officer will help the City implement and enforce practices that manage data in accordance with the City’s Privacy Principles, which were established by Mayor Edward Murray and City Council. In 2015 the City of Seattle launched its Privacy Program led by the Seattle Information Technology Department (Seattle IT). The Program defined how the City collects, uses and disposes of data. Seattle is one of the first cities in the nation to establish a Privacy Program and Chief Privacy Officer.

“The City has an obligation to earn the public’s trust in how it collects and uses their data,” said City of Seattle Chief Technology Officer Michael Mattmiller. “Ginger’s knowledge and experience working with our community will drive improved privacy practices across City departments and increased public engagement. We are fortunate to have Ginger join our talented workforce.”

“The privacy program we launched in 2015 with input from privacy thought leaders from across the country, our community, industry and City departments is important for our community,” said Armbruster. “I’m excited to get back to building this ground-breaking program.”

“In our digital age where we seem to be losing control of our personal information, its protection is more important than ever,” said Council President Bruce Harrell. “We want the public to feel assured that information that should remain private is managed with a high level of security.”

“Ginger brings her considerable privacy expertise to Seattle at a time when we need to be ever-vigilant to protect citizen privacy,” said State of Washington Chief Privacy Officer Alex Alben. “My office will look forward to working with her to champion privacy for our state!”

“The City of Seattle is a leader in the technology sector, and as such our great city should be at the forefront of protecting the private information of our community members. We at the Community Technology Advisory Board look forward to learning from and collaborating with Ginger to continue leading the discussion on best practices and strategies to better serve our many diverse communities,” said Jose Manuel Vasquez, Community Technology Advisory Board Chairman.

“As a privacy professional and a long-time resident of Seattle that cares deeply about individual privacy rights, I applaud the selection,” said Susan Lyon-Hintze.  “Armbruster has the experience, collaborative skills, and passion needed to lead our city’s efforts to protect privacy in an inclusive yet pragmatic manner,” she added. Lyon-Hintze served on the City’s Privacy Advisory Committee and helped develop the City’s Privacy Principles.

Armbruster previously worked for City, serving as the privacy program manager. She led an interdepartmental effort to establish a principles-based privacy program. She most recently served as a senior privacy manager for Microsoft where she developed and ran the privacy program for Office Marketing.

“I want to ensure the program is robust and mature enough to manage the data collected by the technologies we are currently using to meet the needs of the public we service. Looking long term, I hope to establish a world-class privacy program for the City of Seattle and set an example for others to follow,” said Armbruster.

“Ginger made the Privacy Program happen. She knows what works like a charm and where every hitch and sticking point is. If anyone can ensure its effective and impartial application across the city, she’s the one,” said Jan Bultmann Chair, Board of Directors, Seattle Privacy Coalition.

“Seattle became a national leader with the initiation of its privacy program in 2015. This visionary program was the product of innovative and thoughtful policy-making on the part of Mayor Murray, Michael Mattmiller, and Ginger Armbruster, along with a host of talented individuals currently serving the City of Seattle. With Ginger’s return to the City, we can expect Seattle to once again raise the profile of possibilities for protecting public interests in municipal data, setting an example for cities across the nation to follow,” said Dr. Jan Whittington, Associate Professor of the Department of Urban Design and Planning, at the University of Washington.

Armbruster has an undergraduate degree in political science from Columbia University. In 2013, she received her master’s degree in infrastructure planning and management from the University of Washington as a National Science Foundation grant recipient through the CyberCorps Scholarship for Service Program. The program is designed to increase the number of professionals that protect the government’s critical information infrastructure. Students then work in tribal, local or federal government in a relevant role for two years to fulfill the service requirement of the program. Armbruster completed her service time at the City of Seattle.