Jeff Jockisch on being a 2024 Community Champion

Data Privacy Researcher


"We can improve our world, protect our privacy, battle disinformation, promote positive online conversations, and even market more effectively when we understand the underlying processes."


I'm passionate about the evolution of technology, how we search, whom we trust, what keeps our information safe and private, and how reputation works in our digital world.

We can improve our world, protect our privacy, battle disinformation, promote positive online conversations, and even market more effectively when we understand the underlying processes. Platforms and bad actors obscure the path.

Hard-won knowledge from the frontlines of the Q&A wars, curation of teen content, viral content creation, and more provides me with understanding and motivation.

My core interests fall into four distinct sectors:

Data Privacy

Privacy Rights, Privacy Laws, Data Breaches, Intrusion Detection

Cognitive Computing

Q&A, Digital Assistants, Knowledge Graphs, Taxonomy, NLP

Content Development

Content Operations, Viral Campaigns, Curation

Trust Systems

Digital Identity, Reputation Systems, Disinformation, Social Media Algorithms



Reflect on a notable challenge in your data privacy work and the specific steps you took to overcome it.

Deleting the digital footprint of a person is harder than it sounds. It should be as easy as saying “Hey, I'm Jeff. Delete the data you have about me.” But it's not.

People search engines in particular. Don't like to delete your data. They'll do whatever they can to not delete your profile. And in fact, even when they do delete your data, they don't delete it entirely. Most data deletion laws allow them to retain your base record because it's publicly available information.

When forced to, people search engines delete the index to your information, making you harder to find. And that's a good thing. But they generally don't delete all the indexes to your data. So so if I search for Jeff I may not come up but if I search for I might still. Searching for my address might also pop up my whole profile.

The only way to really delete me is to delete all my indexes and that takes a lot of information and a lot of work. What we found an Avantis is that we have to do a lot of research on our clients to find all of their indexes in order to have them deleted.

We must harvest a lot of personal data in order to effectively delete a digital footprint. Now we become a data controller with many data security and data privacy requirements. Our clients must put a lot of trust in us to allow us to collect this information.

We're solving this in both traditional and novel ways. First, we are doing more than simply providing reasonable security. We're implementing SOC2 compliant systems That will eventually meet FedRamp standards. But we're also looking at things like offering client-attorney relationships to clients. And storing client data in individual data pods for maximum security.

I would have thought that a data deletion company would have had to worry so much about data security.

Looking back at 2023, share any predictions you had for Data Privacy. How did they unfold, and did they influence your approach?

When I look back at 2023 and what I thought it was going to do and what actually happened I see a bit of a dichotomy.

In terms of State privacy legislation, it pretty much rolled out as I expected - lots of activity. Lots of new legislation. Lots of fragmentation.

When we look at a larger picture like AI: The frameworks that rolled out like the EU AI act, China, pretty much happened as expected. Nothing really earth shattering.

But 2023 gave us rapid change from directions and at a levels I think everyone was unprepared for. Look for instance at:

- LLMs and AI: large language model privacy problems wasn't even on the radar a year ago

- The exposure of privacy practices in the automobile industry wasn't something people were talking about a year ago - other than Andrea Amico

- The reigning in of Data Brokers - which seems to be coming to a head faster than expected with the imminent Death of Cookies, the passage of the Delete Act, coming crackdowns from the CFPB and FTC, including a possible reversal of the Resellers exception and FACTA.