Regine Bonneau’s journey into technology and privacy started when she was 12 and signed up for robotics at school because of a “cool” teacher – one who was the complete package with long hair and motorcycle boots. After becoming intrigued with the actual subject matter she was learning, Regine went on to earn her degree in electrical engineering and launched her career in technology during the Trojan Wars of the early 2000s.

She now owns her own company, which focuses on helping businesses with proper cyber-risk management. During today’s episode, she shares her perspective on privacy and inspires us with the persistence that got her to where she is today – a successful CEO.

Here are three highlights of this week’s episode:

Taking Herself Out of the Equation

Regine shares her perspective about how she manages the challenging moments of being a minority woman business owner in a predominately male-dominated industry. Even more impressive – keeping her positive attitude and a smile on her face. When her intellect and expertise is challenged – either consciously or unconsciously – she starts by reminding herself that it’s not about her, but about those who are coming behind her and alongside her.

Above all, she accepts who she is. She counsels other women that “You don’t have to be the loudest person in the room or the person who is always talking.” In her own work, she tries to make sure that what she says resonates and makes people stop and think. She aims to share her thoughts with one sentence – maybe three at the most. Instead of questioning whether she belongs in a room or trying to prove her worth, she simply works to make an impact – both in what she says and in her actions.

How GDPR Changes the Privacy Conversation

When the conversation switches to GDPR, Bonneau shares the enlightening perspective that GDPR shifted the power to the consumer in Europe, making it so that in Europe the idea became “I own me” – compared to the status quo in countries where the consumer did not own their own information in the same manner. Once people realized that they have rights, the conversation shifted to what we are seeing today with privacy laws in California, Massachusetts, and other U.S. states.

Bonneau explains that the GRPR set the stage for states and other countries to honor the consumer’s right to own their data and identity. She sees states moving in the same direction because they understand that consumers drive business – and that a lack of business causes both companies and legislators to listen.

Freedom and your privacy

“Money talks, everything else walks. However, what we fail to understand is the freedom that we have. We actually gave that up when it came to privacy and your information. People didn’t really understand what that meant in the United States until you eventually – yourself – succumbed to it.”

-Regine Bonneau, CEO, Founder of RB Advisory, Third Party Risk Consultant

Trends in Data and Privacy

When asked about the major challenges she currently sees in the industry, Bonneau points to the fact that data is everywhere, and everyone is using it without real control or management. Even when people attempt to control data, she sees so many risk factors: people with access who don’t need access, as well as people who can gain access. She says the problem starts with many people pursuing access to data that they really don’t need. Because people can’t see security – the hardware is tangible, but the concept is not – people have a hard time understanding the value.

What is the cost of the loss of privacy?

“What’s the real cost of that loss, not only to the business itself but the good of the whole? It’s starting to come to light today. COVID-19 is not what determined where we are, but now we really see the interconnectedness of people and technology.”

-Regine Bonneau, CEO, Founder of RB Advisory, Third Party Risk Consultant

While we’ve shared a few highlights of our conversation, this is a must-listen episode – both for Bonneau’s perspective on security and her inspiring story of perseverance. We touched on a few interesting tidbits here, but hearing Bonneau’s story in her own words is something that you owe it to yourself to take the time to listen.

Ready to listen?

This week’s episode of Privacy Please we welcome on the very funny and hardworking CEO, founder and mother, Regine Bonneau. We learn about her story, what privacy means to her company, growth plans, struggles, words of wisdom on being a woman in tech, and why giving up coffee is easier than a mystery item. Thank you for coming on the show Regine, this was a very fun episode and should give you some laughs but also hope, and inspiration around tech, Cyber risk, and all things privacy.

Listen now