US Privacy Official Leaves the White House

The White House’s first privacy-focused official, deputy CTO Nicole Wong, has left her position with little explanation after just over a year.

nicole wong

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Wong previously held positions such as director of legal products at Twitter and deputy general counsel at Google, the latter of which involved making calls on censoring certain content on YouTube and in searches. She earned herself the nickname “the Decider” while in the position.

She joined the Obama administration in June of last year in what was, at the time, considered a positive move just after the NSA revelations had rocked the administration.

Wong worked under chief technology officer Todd Park. “Nicole is an incredibly talented and insightful leader, who has made major contributions to big data, privacy, and Internet policy during her time at the White House,” said Park upon her departure. “We’re deeply grateful to Nicole and her family for her service, and will miss her.”

Engadget notes that Wong, despite her short tenure, had a “lasting impact on the US approach to privacy” with her input into authoring the White House’s review on big data and Internet privacy a few months ago.

There has been no word yet on her replacement.