Alan F. Westin

February 22, 2013 – PPR was deeply saddened by the loss of one of our greatest privacy heroes, Mr. Alan F. Westin, the “father of modern day privacy” and the nation’s most respected academic authority on public attitudes toward health privacy. We are grateful to have had the opportunity to honor him and his tremendous work as one of PPR’s first Louis D. Brandeis Privacy Award recipients in 2012. He truly was a remarkable man whom we will miss dearly, though we know the extraordinary contributions he made to the field of privacy law are everlasting.

Alan F. Westin TributeDr. Westin was a leading authority on consumer-privacy public opinion surveys, and in understanding and interpreting the privacy attitudes of the Americanpublic. He worked with Louis Harris & Associates (now Harris Interactive) and Opinion Research Corporation (ORC) on over 60 national privacy surveys since 1978. Dr. Westin was the author or editor of 26 books on constitutional law, civil liberties and American politics, and privacy. He was the nation’s most respected academic authority on public attitudes toward health privacy. For over two decades his extensive, thoughtful surveys and body of work on health privacy have been the sine qua non for understanding the American public’s views about personal control over health information in electronic healthsystems, the trustworthiness of electronic systems, who patients trust to control the use of personal health information, research use of health data without consent, and how vulnerable populations view electronic health systems and data privacy.

Click below to watch Dr. Westin’s longtime friend and colleague, Robert Belair, accept the Louis D. Brandeis Privacy Award on his behalf during the 2012 Celebration of Privacy.