Comcast Creates VP for Privacy

Move comes amid growing debate about tech ethics.

comcast noopur davis

Noopur Davis

Just as the tech world is embroiled in a debate over the privacy customers can expect from its products, Comcast has created a new position devoted specifically to security and privacy.

The company announced Monday that it’s hiring Noopur Davis to be its new senior vice president, product security and privacy at Comcast Cable. In her previous job, she led Intel’s efforts to develop secure hardware and software products.

“Noopur brings tremendous experience and unique perspective to this vital role,” said Tony Werner, executive vice president and chief technology officer of Comcast Cable. “Her longstanding leadership in the areas of both product quality and product security make her the ideal person to lead a team that will keep security at the forefront of our design and development processes.”

The appointment comes as Apple is in a celebrated fight with the federal government over whether it should be forced to build a bypass around the iPhone’s security features so investigators can peek at the contents of a phone used by one of the San Bernardino shooters. And it comes as consumers and privacy advocates become increasingly concerned that even home technology can compromise a user’s privacy. Samsung, for example, last year warned customers not to have private conversations in front of their smart TV.

And privacy looks to be of growing concern for Comcast customers the more the company grows its business outside cable. The company’s “smart home” systems can increasingly sift through the data they collect on customers to automatically adjust the temperature of their house, turn lights off and on, and keep the home secure.

A spokesman for Comcast, however, said the creation of Davis’s new position had been in the works awhile, building on a “large bench” of company officials devoted to ensuring customer privacy is a top priority in product development.

“The creation of this position is the latest step in the journey we’ve been on” in enhancing product security and safety, the spokesman said.

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