13 Jul 2021
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Facebook teams up with UoA for information governance

By Shannon Williams

Facebook has teamed up with the University of Auckland to support a new information governance course.

"As the opportunities of data and information flows grows for society, so does the complexity of the challenges associated with how this ever increasing volume of data is managed and governed," says Nick McDonnell, head of public policy - New Zealand & Pacific, at Facebook.

"Over the last two years in particular as the world has grappled with COVID-19 and more rapidly digitised, there has been a sharp increase in demand globally for information governance roles such as privacy officers, compliance officers and data protection professionals - across the private, public and not-for-profit sectors" he says.

"Facebook is excited to be partnering with the University of Auckland's Department of Commercial Law to provide two academic prizes as part of the university's new programme of study in Information Governance."

McDonnell says the Facebook Scholarship in Information Governance will be provided to cover tuition fees for a Postgraduate Certificate in Information Governance. Applications are now open for this course beginning in September, and students from communities underrepresented in data and technology fields, including Maori and Pasifika students, are particularly encouraged to apply.

"In addition, we will be awarding the Facebook Prize in Artificial Intelligence Regulation to this papers top student," he says.

"Technology and data offers significant economic opportunities for the New Zealand economy and needs to be underpinned by talented professionals schooled in the ethics and benefits of this growing field," McDonnell says.

"We are happy to support that next generation of Kiwi data privacy and information governance professionals," he says.

According the University of Auckland's website, the postgraduate programmes in Information Governance are designed for new graduates as well as working professionals from a range of disciplines who are seeking to upskill in privacy law and compliance.

Students will be able to acquire a platform of knowledge and skills that will equip them for roles related to privacy and information governance within organisations where an understanding of regulatory issues relating to the collection, storage and use of information is critical.

Professor Susan Watson, Dean of the Business School at the University of Auckland, adds, "I welcome the new programme and am grateful for the corporate sponsorship of prizes and scholarships.

"The attendance of both the regulator and private and public sector stakeholders at the symposium is testament to the central role played by data in today's economy," she says.

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