Chetan Gupta, Senior Legal Counsel at Twitter
How would you describe your job and what do you love most about it?
I am Senior Counsel within the Privacy and Data Protection Team at Twitter. We are charged with protecting the privacy and security of our consumers, which is a role I am proud of. Our remit includes conducting privacy reviews for new products, features or services, such as leveraging machine learning to analyze platform activity. It also includes engaging with privacy regulators globally.
What drew you to and how did you arrive at your current role?
Twitter exists to serve the public conversation, and it’s a privilege to be part of a social network that informs and shapes much of what transpires in the world on a daily basis.This is what makes my role so attractive.
Prior to Twitter, I worked as an Associate at Baker McKenzie, which welcomed the fact that I was dual qualified in California and India, and is a firm that views international experience and backgrounds as a plus. Baker has offices across the globe and it was a great experience to be able to see how different jurisdictions treated the same privacy questions when I conducted privacy surveys or assessments on behalf of our clients. After a few years at Baker, I felt like I wanted to dive deeper into the technological aspects of privacy, such as data science and ad tech, which is what drew me to Twitter.
How has mentorship played a part in your personal and professional growth?
Mentorship has been critical in my personal and professional growth. At Berkeley Law, I was fortunate to have Prof. Chris Hoofnagle as a mentor, who is a leading authority in privacy law and technology, and who helped shape my career in this space. While at Berkeley Law, and under Prof. Hoofnagle’s mentorship, I wrote a paper on the adoption of privacy technologies that won the Privacy Papers for Policymakers Award and that I was invited to present to the US Senate. This led me to specialize in privacy at both Baker McKenzie and at Twitter. My manager at Twitter, Damien Kieran (Twitter’s Chief Privacy Officer), is also an extremely kind mentor who is generous with his time, and seeks to maximize the opportunities and exposure available to me.
What has been the most valuable piece of advice given to you, and the least useful?
Most valuable: try and develop skills that will be a key part of the economy in the coming years.
Least valuable: spend x amount of time in y job for the sake of appearances before moving on, even if it’s a bad fit.
Is there something that you do in your personal life and community (outside of the office and work) that you think contributes in some way to your professional success?
I am blessed to have a loving and supporting wife (who is also an attorney), and we also have a mischievous Maltipoo, called Coconut. They make every day better! I also try and pay my good fortune forward by connecting with, and sharing my experiences with anyone who reaches out for advice or referrals.
How do you think employers, organizations, and communities can increase diversity and support diverse professionals, specifically in the legal tech world?
By actively signaling that diversity is valued and viewed as a plus. For example, Twitter has publicly stated its diversity goals and publishes metrics showing how it’s doing against them. Mandatorily increasing diversity in both hiring panels and candidate slates is also a must.