Jane Church Horvath

Class of 1986

Current Position: Senior Director of Global Privacy at Apple
Major: Computer Science
Other Degrees: Juris Doctor, Law
Current Location: San Francisco Bay Area

I got my start in privacy drafting the first Privacy Policy at America Online. My first full-time position in privacy was when I was appointed the first Chief Privacy and Civil Liberties Officer at the United States Department of Justice. While there I was on the board of the International Association of Privacy Professionals along with Google’s Global Privacy Counsel. I moved to Google when he asked me to be the first U.S.-based Global Privacy Counsel.

Four years later I was recruited as the first Privacy Legal lead at Apple. The opportunity was fun and exciting because I had the chance to set up something new. I enjoy building teams and new functions.

Privacy law is a mixture of law, sociology and cultural anthropology. In Asia there is not a term for privacy, but there’s a term for data protection. In the United States, privacy is the right to be alone, but you do not have a right to privacy in public spaces. In Europe, privacy is a fundamental human right and that is how we look at it at Apple. To me, privacy law is such a critical area for our civil liberties.

William & Mary is largely to thank for where I have ended up in my career. My time at the university taught me to work hard, challenge myself and take risks. If I had to give a piece of advice to current students it would be to take the road less traveled. What you are doing in college should be a baseline. Take classes that interest you and don’t think that you will get locked in to one particular career path.

College is a time to explore and the career in which you end up may not exist yet. My career – privacy law – didn’t exist when I graduated from William & Mary. It didn’t even exist when I graduated from law school.

Explore. That’s what William & Mary and a liberal arts education gives you the opportunity to do.