Microsoft appoints globally respected regulator to privacy leadership role

Julie Brill

Julie Brill

Microsoft announced today that Julie Brill, former Commissioner of the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC), will join Microsoft to lead privacy, data protection and other regulatory issues as head of its Privacy and Regulatory Affairs Group.

Brill will join as corporate vice president and deputy general counsel for Privacy and Regulatory Affairs. She will report directly to Brad Smith, Microsoft’s president and chief legal officer.

“Cloud computing, big data and artificial intelligence have the potential to drive profound and positive change across society, but they raise new issues and responsibilities as well,” says Smith. “Julie’s deep expertise in privacy, keen intellect and strong international relationships will enable our customers to use the Microsoft Cloud knowing that we will help meet their global technology regulatory needs.”

Recognized in the United States and around the world as one of the foremost leaders on privacy, data protection and cybersecurity law and policy, Brill will lead the team responsible for shaping the company’s global legal, regulatory and public policy response on some of the most critical issues facing the technology sector today.

In 2010, then-President Barack Obama nominated Brill to serve as Commissioner on the FTC. After unanimous confirmation by the U.S. Senate, Brill served as a commissioner for nearly six years.  She stepped down in early 2016 to co-lead the Global Privacy and Cybersecurity Practice Group at Hogan Lovells, a leading global law firm.

During her time as an FTC Commissioner, Brill established a reputation not just as a leading thinker, but as a highly effective champion for consumers on issues such as privacy, transparency, consumer protection and anti-trust. The National Law Journal cited her as a “2016 Trailblazer in Cybersecurity and Data Privacy,” and the International Association of Privacy Professionals named her as the recipient of its 2014 Privacy Leadership Award.

While at the FTC, Brill worked extensively internationally. She is credited for strengthening relationships between the FTC and European regulators, working closely with them to promote practical solutions to privacy, rooted in consumer protection.

Before being appointed to the FTC, Brill spent more than two decades in public service at the state level. She served as senior deputy attorney general and chief of Consumer Protection and Antitrust for the state of North Carolina, and before that as assistant attorney general for Consumer Protection and Antitrust for the state of Vermont.

Brill and her team will work closely with external stakeholders – including policy makers, regulators, customers and civil society – to ensure Microsoft is playing its part in addressing privacy and data protection issues. She and her team will also work closely with Microsoft’s engineering groups to build strong privacy protection into our products and services to enable Microsoft’s enterprise customers to meet the new privacy standards established by the landmark European Union General Data Protection Regulation.

“I’ve been deeply impressed by Microsoft’s commitment to privacy, their willingness to stand up for customers and their focus on offering constructive solutions to new challenges,” says Brill. “I’ve always tried to do the same throughout my career in government. I’m thrilled to have this opportunity to contribute in a new and particularly meaningful way.”

Brill’s new role will extend beyond privacy to include areas such as telecommunications regulation, corporate standards, internet governance, as well as legal and regulatory issues around accessibility of Microsoft products. She’ll also be responsible for important aspects of the company’s online safety work.

Brill will start her new role with Microsoft this summer.