Chair’s Message | Privacy Education: Our Second Pillar and an Opportunity

February 19, 2021 

Dear Cybersecurity and Privacy Community, 

As I have conversations about SCP with faculty, students, administrators, industry leaders, and others, the discussions frequently turn to privacy education. It’s not a surprising turn in conversations about a school that’s dedicated to cybersecurity and privacy. What role does it play in the school? Will there be privacy-focused degrees? Are there classes that are available now? SCP is an unusual beast because so few of our peers even consider these questions.  

We can take a lead in defining privacy education in a world transformed by digital technology. Businesses and governments have clear financial and legal incentives to focus on cybersecurity in order to keep their doors open. The subject of privacy occupies a related but very different space where organizations are still finding their footing. I saw this firsthand in my previous post at Georgia Tech leading the Center for 21st Century Universities (C21U). C21U was a pioneer in establishing digital learning in the U.S. We quickly grew from a handful of online students to well over three million in a span of two years. We thought we had a handle on the spaghetti nest of privacy rules and regulations governing higher education, but those were the rules drafted in a different age. When the European GDPR rules dropped, we were caught flat-footed. We only avoided disaster because we were hosting large amounts of student data and had developed data protection rules of our own. 

This afternoon during my Virtual Open Office Hour, Peter Swire, one of Georgia Tech’s resident privacy experts, will join me. Peter just gave testimony on Capitol Hill in December on the EU-US Privacy Shield. His experience in previous federal administrations – and long record as a privacy and cyberlaw scholar and practitioner since the rise of the Internet in the 1990s – uniquely positions him to inform us on the complicated topic of privacy. I hope you’ll join us at 1 p.m. EDT and engage in the discussion.  

Another key area we are preparing to tackle is outreach, education pipeline, and workforce development needs in the state as it relates to cybersecurity and privacy. 

The Georgia Cybersecurity and Privacy Roadmap Taskforce, organized by the University System of Georgia (USG) and led by Georgia Tech, will seek to create and execute a strategic action plan that can be implemented across public and private education systems, including K-12, technical colleges and university programs. 

We will host a virtual workshop, Building a Strategic Blueprint for Cybersecurity and Privacy Education, in March with panelists from the state’s education community. The workshop offers stakeholders the chance to collaborate and share market perspectives about establishing a statewide education program to meet the growing demand for cybersecurity talent. 

By one estimate, there are currently more than 17,000 job openings in Georgia in cybersecurity areas. We plan to start addressing this issue with stakeholders across the state and create a wholistic approach that can guide educators, elected officials, and others and provide them with achievable cybersecurity education goals.  

More information on this effort will be available soon. 

To keep our community up to date, we’ve now made recordings available on the website for several events, including seminar talks, entrepreneur chats, panel discussions, and more. You will also find upcoming events here as our programming continues to expand.  

Thanks for reading. 


Richard DeMillo  
Charlotte B. and Roger C. Warren Chair of Computing 
Chair, School of Cybersecurity and Privacy  

Visit me at 
Follow me on Twitter @rad_atl and @richde