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NY Life's Enterprise Approach to Privacy

With a mandate to implement consistent privacy policies across all lines of business, New York Life Insurance Co.'s (New York) general auditor, Thomas Warga, a senior vice president who is responsible for the corporate audit and corporate compliance departments as well as the corporate office of business conduct, has assumed the additional role of chief privacy officer (CPO), a newly created position at the $84 billion-asset company.

"The reason why we have one person responsible for privacy is because privacy concerns extend across all business lines," says Warga. "We wanted to have a consistent policy and consistent communications with our customers. We needed a position to bridge the entire enterprise. New York Life did not want a lot of variation."

Warga's first responsibility as CPO was to revise New York Life's old privacy policy, a purely internal document, to meet new state and federal privacy laws. "In round two, we will define the role of the CPO going forward," says Warga. "We also understand we need to implement procedures to get notices mailed each year to our customers," to comply with requirements in the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act. "Also, as state laws come out, we will need to adopt and interpret them, so they are implemented in a consistent and efficient manner."

Warga will work with New York Life's chief information security officer, Steven Attias, to make sure the company's security and privacy policies support each other.

Warga reports to the CEO and audit committee board of directors.

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