Gabrielle Addonizio and Alyra Liriano

Institute for Privacy Protection Profiles Two Students

“Privacy issues affect all of us,” declares Alyra Liriano ’16.

And she should know. Liriano and fellow Seton Hall University Law alumna, Gabrielle Addonizio ’16, both developed a keen interest in privacy protection while they were students at the Law School and both took courses designed to increase their expertise and value in the multiple economic sectors confronting threats to privacy.

“I loved the coursework we had and the opportunities available to us,” recalls Addonizio of her classes with Professor Gaia Bernstein. “I didn’t pigeonhole myself and was able to combine privacy and healthcare courses with real-life experiences. Privacy is a nuanced language that everyone needs to learn to speak.”

Addonizio served in a summer internship with the Office of Civil Rights in Washington, D.C. where she learned about the privacy interests of a very vulnerable population – prisoners and their medical records prior to incarceration. While that was a very different experience than her work with Celgene and now KPMG in its forensic healthcare department, she feels well-equipped to help pharmaceutical companies address the unique privacy concerns they confront.

Speaking of HIPAA, the governing statute health privacy, Addonizio described it “as incredibly complicated, which means that “few people really understand how their private information and sensitive data can (and cannot) be used. I hope to be a resource for those who want and need to educate themselves.”

“The field continues to grow and create more jobs,” Addonizio says, encouraging students to enter this growing legal field.

Addonizo’s classmate, Alyra Liriano, worked in an internship with Wyndham Worldwide in the summer of 2015, which is where she first became interested in privacy law.  In what she refers to as a “career changing moment,” she then registered for cyber security courses taught in online modules by Professor David Opderbeck. Liriano also took courses with the International Association of Privacy Professionals to become more marketable and is currently studying to become a Certified Information Privacy Professional. 

She is enthusiastic about the field, seeing privacy issues everywhere: “From a retail store inquiring about a customer’s zip code to social media dissemination of very personal information, it is increasingly difficult to control our own information when it is being aggregated from many sources.”

Liriano, who also serves on the Privacy Committee for the New Jersey State Bar Association, currently works with LeClairRyan in commercial litigation.

Liriano believes herself very lucky to have graduated at this point in history because her generation grew up surrounded by technology and is better able to deal with its plusses and minuses.  If she and Addonizio have any regrets, it is that Seton Hall Law’s new Institute for Privacy Protection is getting off the ground only after their graduation. “Seton Hall Law students will have even more opportunities to learn this field going forward, and maybe I can help,” said Liriano.