Martin Abrams is Executive Director and Chief Strategist at The Information Accountability Foundation. The IAF is a non-profit whose charitable purposes are research and education. Abrams has nearly 40 years of experience as an information and consumer policy innovator. Multi-stakeholder collaboration has been a key for Abrams in developing practical solutions to dilemmas in information policy. He has been a key player in developing such data protection key concepts as accountability, a two-phase approach to big data, and ethical assessments.
His most recent work has been on legal, fair and just big data and artificial intelligence governance, and demonstrable data stewardship. Much of this IAF work has been conducted in collaboration with the full range of stakeholders, including enforcement agencies.
Most recently the IAF team work has been focused on how to make ethical assessments trustworthy, with the work conducted in Canada and Hong Kong. This followed IAF projects that designed ethics-based assessment process in Europe, Asia and the Americas to use when consent is not fully effective in protecting individuals.
Abrams led the Global Accountability Project, which has refined the accountability principle that is part of various data protection laws and guidance documents. The IAF is the incorporation of that dialogue. All the IAF’s work is an extension of accountability concepts, including the creation of a data taxonomy that was used in setting the bright line rules by the EU Working Party 29 for data portability.
Abrams has organised conferences and seminars on every continent. He is the co-convener for the annual International Data Protection Congress in Colombia.
Prior to his work at the foundation, Abrams was the co-founder and President of the Centre for Information Policy Leadership at Hunton & Williams LLP, which he led for 13 years. Prior to that, he was Vice President of Information Policy at Experian and Director of Information Policy at TRW Information Systems, where he designed one of the earliest privacy impact assessment tools. He also chaired their Consumer Advisory Council. Abrams began his consumer policy work at the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, where he was Assistant Vice President and Community Affairs Officer. At the Federal Reserve Bank, he drove collaboration by helping banks and the communities they serve find their intersection of self-interest.