Obligatory Biography, written in the third person. Possibly after a few glasses of wine.
Tracy Kosa is all about privacy; she has written, taught and presented to a variety of audiences, some of whom were paying attention.
University study began in mathematics for Tracy; overwhelmed by the excitement of Fermat’s last theorem, she graduated in political science with a minor in economics. Feeling the need to continue to write lengthy papers with obscure words, Tracy was accepted to complete a Masters degree in political philosophy. She enthusiastically finished her major research paper in 13 months, thus avoiding a second winter in Winnipeg (the proud location of the coldest corner in Canada).
After returning to Toronto, Tracy started to think about privacy while writing work orders in the service department of a car dealership. Although the highlight of her career to date, the relocation of the loudspeaker controls to her desk ultimately led to the end of her progress in the automotive industry. She returned to school to study the non-profit sector and after graduation obtained a job that her parents felt suited her natural skill set: asking people for money. Continuing a lifelong habit of dodging success wherever possible, Tracy quit in lieu of a promotion to start studies in what she thought was a doctoral program. However, a misunderstanding with the department resulted in yet another Masters degree, albeit this time in health privacy.
Thus, Tracy began her ‘real’ career in health privacy working for an agency that ended up being investigated by the regulator. She left to work in a hospital, where she learned much about emergency room information disclosures to law enforcement at 3am on weekends. She was proud to represent the risk management department on the hospital Administrative Policies and Procedures Review Committee, where her prompt attendance at every meeting had nothing whatever to do with the Boardroom’s Keurig single cup coffee maker. Coincidentally, shortly after the Keurig was destroyed in a smelting accident, Tracy took a position at the provincial Government to pilot a 3-month project on developing an internal privacy consulting team. It accidentally succeeded, and Tracy reluctantly accepted the security of a full-time position and promotion that followed. In 2009, she also started her doctoral studies in Computer Science after years of applying to the wrong faculties.
While attending a privacy conference in Waterloo, Tracy spontaneously shared an idea to solve for online privacy (spoiler: throw out the Internet and start again) which caught the attention of some intrepid corporate privacy wonks at Microsoft. After a year of negotiating, first with them, then several US Government agencies, Tracy moved to Washington. After a longer flight then expected, she landed in Seattle (which as it turns out, is nowhere near Virginia). Working with a larger community of privacy professionals than ever before, Tracy set about measuring privacy (spoiler: the answer was 6). After yet another spontaneous reorganization, she landed in the legal department, tasked with developing a global privacy compliance program. Tracy soon discovered that the plethora of lawyer jokes exist for a reason, and sought a stay of her role. She pivoted to working with the University Relations team for 6 months, and discovered that she did in fact still love privacy work. But not at Microsoft. Returning to her long-held belief in quitting, Tracy summarily resigned and spent 6 weeks catching up on her Netflix queue.
She is now at Google, working in privacy. Tracy is currently contemplating her candidacy for Prime Minister of Canada. Her platform will focus on bringing back the death penalty for people who drive slow in the fast lane. She also feels strongly about low-flow toilets but has yet to establish a firm policy position.
In her spare time, Tracy played the piano with a group of similarly unskilled string musicians who were extraordinarily loud for a fictional band. However, they recently disbanded as a furor erupted over the pronunciation of ‘mauve’. She is now contemplating learning the bass violin, a significantly more portable instrument. Tracy lives in Kirkland, Washington with her life partner, Stella, a long-haired Chihuahua. Stella looks like Wilfred Brimley and enjoys a life of crime (primarily theft under a thousand). Stella has recently acquired a pet of her own named Zeke that bears a startling resemblance to Winston Churchill. His features include silent but deadly emissions and sleeping upside down. Should a burglar break in, Tracy is confident s/he would die in a puddle of their own drool from laughter at her ‘guard dogs’ thus ensuring the safety of all involved.