Carolyn Lidgerwood
  • Head of privacy
  • Rio Tinto
Australia
Carolyn Lidgerwood

Carolyn Lidgerwood

  • Head of privacy
  • Rio Tinto
Australia

I help my company “do the right thing” with personal data – promoting good privacy practices to help protect the brand and the business. The work ranges from “awareness raising” through to advising on complex questions and projects.

The global nature of my role is what makes it interesting. It can also be what makes it challenging!

Privacy lawyers have to get “more techy”. To understand data processing, you have to understand the technology, and change is constant. Thank goodness for my cyber­security friends and their whiteboards.

Apart from time zone navigation, one challenge is doing more with less – a common theme among those in-house. Understanding that when it comes to personal data, it’s not open slather – data privacy laws exist for good reasons. Also, that quantity does not mean quality.

[On her proudest achievements] Before I left private practice, I made an industry list of the top-three broadcasting lawyers in Australia, alongside people I really respected. Coming from peers, that meant a lot. Also, when (without inducement) my former boss told me I was the best privacy lawyer he’d ever worked with – that was a good day too (even if mentioning it makes me sound needy)!