Peter Swire - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Peter Swire (born May 15, 1958) is the Nancy J. and Lawrence P. Huang Professor in the Scheller College of Business at the Georgia Institute of Technology and an internationally recognized expert in privacy law. Swire is also a Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress and the Future of Privacy Forum and a Policy Fellow with the Center for Democracy and Technology. During the Clinton Administration, he became the first person to hold the position of Chief Counselor for Privacy in the Office of Management and Budget. In this role, he coordinated administration policy on privacy and data protection, including interfacing with privacy officials in foreign countries. He may be best known for shaping the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act Privacy Rule while serving as the Chief Counselor for Privacy. In November, 2012 he was named as co-chair of the Tracking Protection Working Group of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), to attempt to mediate a global Do Not Track standard.[1][2]


Swire graduated summa cum laude with an A.B. degree from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton with a concentration in economics in 1980. Swire also earned a membership in the Phi Beta Kappa society. After earning his undergraduate degree, Swire studied at the Université Libre de Bruxelles on a Rotary InternationalAmbassadorial Scholarship. In 1985, Swire graduated from Yale Law School where he was the Senior Editor of the Yale Law Journal. Upon graduation, Swire clerked for the Honorable Ralph K. Winter, Jr. at the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit from 1985 to 1986.

Swire started his professional career as an associate for Powell, Goldstein, Frazer & Murphy in Washington, D.C. In 1990, he began his academic career as an Associate Professor at the University of Virginia School of Law. Swire began teaching at Ohio State University in 1996, but left the university in April 1999 to become the first Chief Counselor for Privacy in the Office of Budget and Management during the Clinton Administration.

As the Chief Counselor for Privacy in the Clinton administration, Swire became known as a behind-the-scenes go-to guy.[3] Swire shepherded the creation of the HIPAA Privacy Rule by working with the Department of Health and Human Services to create a proposed privacy rule. The proposed privacy rule was opened up for public comment and generated over 52,000 comments. The final text of the rule was announced by President Bill Clinton and the Secretary of Health and Human Services, Donna Shalala on December 20, 2000. During his time in the Clinton Administration, Swire also chaired a 15-agency White House Working Group on updating wiretap law for the Internet age.[4]

In early 2001, Swire resumed his position at Ohio State, and became Director in 2002 of the Washington D.C. Summer Program for the Moritz College of Law. In 2005, Swire was named the C. William O'Neil Professor in Law and Judicial Administration at the Moritz College of Law of Ohio State University . Swire has researched many elements of technology law, including privacy, data brokering,[5][6] electronic surveillance,[7] and computer security. He is a founding faculty editor of I/S: A Journal of Law and Policy for the Information Society and with Jonathan Zittrain is the editor of Cyberspace Law Abstracts of the Social Science Research Network.

During the Obama-Biden Transition, Swire worked on teams for the Federal Trade Commission and Federal Communications Commission, and served as Counsel to the New Media Team. In 2009 and 2010, Swire took leave from law teaching to enter the Obama Administration, in the National Economic Council. He was Special Assistant to President Obama for Economic Policy, working primarily on housing and technology issues.

In Fall 2013, Swire accepted the Nancy J. and Lawrence P. Huang Professor in the Scheller College of Business at the Georgia Institute of Technology. Swire's responsibilities include teaching, research, and service as a part of the Law and Ethics program.

See also[edit]


  1. ^[1]"Mediator Joins Contentious Effort to Add a ‘Do Not Track’ Option to Web Browsing", New York Times, 28 November 2012
  2. ^[2] W3C Tracking Protection Working Group (TPWG)
  3. ^[3] Archive of USA Today article, June 7, 2000.
  4. ^[4] Senate Judiciary Committee Testimony, Subcommittee on the Constitution, "Responding to the Inspector Generals findings of improper use of National Security Letters by the FBI," Peter P. Swire, April 11, 2007
  5. ^[5] PBS FRONTLINE Interview with Peter Swire, June 1, 2004.
  6. ^Mohammed, Arshad (27 January 2006). "Record Fine for Data Breach". Washington Post (Washington, DC). Retrieved 1 December 2008. 
  7. ^"Frontline: Spying on the homefront: Interviews: Peter Swire". PBS. May 15, 2007. p. 1. Retrieved 2008-12-08. 

External links[edit]

NameSwire, Peter
Alternative names
Short descriptionAmerican academic
Date of birthMay 15, 1958
Place of birth
Date of death
Place of death