Leslie Harris, an experienced and innovative internet policy leader and founding board member of the International Digital Accountability Council has been chosen as Acting President of IDAC, replacing founding President Quentin Palfrey, who stepped down in January for a senior role in the Biden Administration’s Commerce Department.
Harris is the former President and CEO of the Center for Democracy & Technology and is currently a Senior Fellow at the Future of Privacy Forum and the Georgetown Institute For Technology, Law and Policy. She also serves as adjunct faculty in the Communications, Culture & Technology Masters Degree program at Georgetown University. She joins IDAC in the wake of a series of important and impactful investigations around COVID-19 apps, education tech (edtech), and the popular fertility app Premom.
With years of experience as a privacy and tech policy lawyer, advocate and nonprofit leader, Harris will lead the IDAC team coming off a year of successful and impactful investigations as it grows as an international watchdog. Harris led countless issue campaigns and negotiated landmark legislation that have made the digital space more secure and fair. Under her leadership, she hopes to empower IDAC to continue on its mission to restore integrity and accountability in the digital sphere.
“With a growing and increasingly complex landscape of new technologies and platforms collecting sensitive personal data, it’s crucial that app developers be held accountable for their data practices. IDAC brings deep technical and policy knowledge and skills to its role as an independent watchdog and is well positioned to investigate and identify misconduct and to hold app developers and platforms accountable for illegal or unethical collection and use of consumer data–,” Harris said. “I look forward to leading the talented IDAC team and to help the organization become even more impactful.”
IDAC Board Chairman Jules Polonetsky, who leads the nonprofit Future of Privacy Forum, said Harris is a perfect choice to lead IDAC toward its next phase.
“There is no better person to be leading our team right now than Leslie Harris,” Polonetsky said. “Leslie exemplifies the values and vision of our organization and will build upon the successes that we have had under Quentin Palfrey’s foundational leadership. I am eager to see how much we can grow during this new era.”