Utah names first government operations privacy officer

Christopher Bramwell (State of Utah)

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Utah Gov. Spencer Cox appointed Christopher Bramwell, formerly a privacy director of the state’s human services department, as the privacy officer for the Department of Government Operations, a new role created this year as the state seeks to further protect residents’ data from cyberattacks and accidental exposure.

As the government operations privacy officer, Bramwell will be tasked with compiling information about the privacy practices used by the state’s various executive agencies and identifying those that pose the greatest risk to potentially exposing residents’ private information. He’ll also work with a new 12-member privacy oversight commission and the state privacy officer, another new role, which hasn’t yet been filled, to be housed in the state auditor’s office.

In an announcement of Bramwell’s appointment Wednesday, Cox said the new oversight commission and privacy officer roles are “even more important as technology has advanced.”

In addition to mounting cyberattacks against government agencies and the companies they rely on — such as the recent ransomware attack against the software firm Kaseya — state governments are also contending with decades of outdated practices and often uneven and complex computing environments, typically a hodgepodge of new and old systems and services.

Bramwell is required to submit a quarterly report with recommendations on how to improve Utah’s privacy practices, to be reviewed by the privacy commission.

“I am honored and humbled by this opportunity to be part of the team Gov. Cox has created to lead Utah into a new era of user-focused platforms for the public and high-level technology services for our valued state employees,” Bramwell said in a press release.

Utah, which is currently amid a transition to a nearly fully cloud-based computing environment, has named several other new technology officials in recent months. Cox appointed Alan Fuller, a longtime Oracle executive, as the state’s new chief information officer in March. And last month, Rich Saunders, formerly the head of the Utah Department of Health, began as the state’s first chief innovation officer.

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chief privacy officer, Chritopher Bramwell, Privacy, Utah
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