From Microsoft and Meta to Data Privacy for SMBs with Denise Farnsworth


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Most of the news and conversations around data privacy, security, breaches, and the impact to consumers and businesses is centered around big tech. However, big tech only makes up a small percentage of total businesses and privacy and security is something that has the potential to impact all businesses.

Denise Farnsworth has an incredibly diverse background in privacy, from big tech to small businesses and everything in between. She served as Deputy Data Protection Officer for Facebook, Chief Privacy Officer at Jazz Pharmaceuticals, Lead Privacy Counsel for NetSuite and Head of Legal, Data Privacy and Compliance Officer for Microsoft, and is now CEO and Founder of Inspire! Privacy and Security, a company focused on helping SMBs with privacy challenges.

Denise joins the show to discuss some of her past experience working at Microsoft and Meta during both pre and post GDPR and how she’s transferred those skills and experiences to what she does today. We discuss how privacy impacts small and medium businesses, why they should prioritize privacy, and how Denise’s company helps them operationalize and build out a privacy program.


  • What are some of the major changes that have happened in privacy, both for businesses, consumers, and as a privacy professional?
  • You’ve worked with a number of major companies in the context of getting them ready for GDPR. What was involved in that process?
  • You were the Deputy Data Protection Officer at Facebook, building out their DPO program. What was that experience like? How did you go about building that team and what was the scope of work?
  • In a big organization like Facebook or Microsoft, how does the legal, privacy, and compliance functions of the business typically work with other areas of the organization like engineering or product?
  • You are the CEO and founder of Inspire! Privacy and Security. Can you tell me a bit about this company? Why did you start it and what are you trying to do?
  • You’re focusing on small to medium sized businesses. What is an SMB in this context?
  • What’s the difference between working with SMBs when it comes to compliance versus huge technology companies?
  • How has privacy regulations impacted SMBs?
  • What are the top 5 risks for a business when it comes to data privacy?
  • What should a SMB be thinking about when it comes to privacy? When should they be prioritizing privacy and compliance?
  • Have you seen a shift in SMBs being more concerned about privacy and compliance? And if so, what’s led to this change?
  • How do you typically work with companies? What’s the service you’re providing and helping them accomplish?
  • You’ve built out a comprehensive framework for privacy. Can you talk a bit about what this is, how you built it, and how it helps companies
  • Where do you see privacy regulations and privacy considerations for businesses going in the future?
  • Is this going to get easier for companies? What needs to happen to help get us there?