Parry Aftab was one of the first cyberlawyers in the world. Known for her ability to “think outside of the box,” she quickly became a leader in the emerging field of Internet law and helped establish best practice standards for the Internet industry. But her greatest passion is empowering children and users to get the most from the digital world while still being safe, private and secure.
As Managing Director of WiredTrust, a digital risk management consulting firm, she advises industry and policy makers. She was an award-winning "Privacy Lawyer" columnist for Information Week magazine for several years and has authored several books, including the first book in the world for parents on cybersafety in 1996. She helped design Singapore’s PAGI program, educating parents on cybersafety, in 1999 and has advised several other nations on cybersafety, cyberbullying and legal approaches.
More than 24 years ago, she founded the first cybersafety help group, for which she still volunteers as Executive Director. She also founded Stop Cyberbullying Global and the new Cybersafety India Foundation, a new pro bono and free program designed for India by Indians, addressing cyberabuse, cybersafety, cybercrimes and digital literacy for all stakeholders in India using Indian values and based on Indian needs. She is a popular public speaker and has designed and implemented many programs for industry leaders, such as Disney, MTV, Sesame Street, the Girl Scouts of the USA, Liz Claiborne and others.
Parry Aftab completed her 4-year BA degree in under 24 months, as both Valedictorian and member of Phi Beta Kappa (with two young children in tow). She received her juris doctorate degree from NYU School of Law and designed cybersecurity and digital policy doctoral programs for universities in the United States. She advises the British High Commission on cybersafety for its only British Council school (in Madrid) and delivers professional development programs for educators, law enforcement, programmers and digital industry professionals.
Dr. Aftab works closely with law enforcement, the Internet industry, educational institutions and governmental agencies worldwide. She is often called upon to create innovative programs to address digital risks and is known for her practical approaches. She is a legal and risk-management expert in all aspects of Internet best practices, privacy, cybercrime prevention and abuse-management. Her expertise extends to online gambling, cyber-terrorism/radicalization, cyberbullying, human-centric digital policy, violence against women, crimes against children and interactive gaming.
Parry Aftab frequently testifies before the US Congress and other US and international governmental bodies. She speaks to thousands of young people and families each month, which gives her unique insight into emerging trends and risks. And, since 1994 she has advised the Internet industry on children’s, privacy and consumer issues. She was the first to develop and promote the adoption of digital best practices, and advised the first social networks in the world, including MySpace, Bebo, Xanga and Facebook. UNESCO appointed her to head its Innocence in Danger program for North America in 1999, addressing crimes against children online. She also trains Interpol and other law enforcement organizationson cyberbullying, sextortion and crimes against children online.
She was identified as “the leading expert in cybercrime in the United States,” by the Boston Herald. Jules Polonetsky, The Future of Privacy Forum Executive Director, said Parry was “part supermom, part Wonder Woman and part Oprah.” And Vinton Cerf, the “father of the Internet” calls Dr. Aftab “the quintessential, responsible Internaut.” She has received numerous awards, including the Child Abuse Prevention Services Leadership Award and the 1998 President’s Service Award from the Whitehouse. US Congress formally honored her work in cybersafety in 2005. She has received both the FBI Director’s Award and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police Child Recovery Award and was one of 29 appointed to the Harvard Berkman Center’s Internet Safety Technology Task Force, identified as a “who’s who of the Internet.”
She formed and chaired McAfee’s consumer advisory board and designed the cybersafety program for the Girl Scouts of the USA for its 2 million Girl Scouts. Parry was appointed to the 24-member Congressionally-mandated NTIA Online Safety Technology Working Group. She iwas a founding member of Facebook’s International Safety Advisory Board (until hr resignation in 2016), sat on Trustee’s Board of Directors for many years, is a member of MTV’s Advisory Board and was selected as the first member of Sesame Street Online advisory board. She was a speaker at the Global Leadership Forum and a dignitary to the World Cultural Festival held in Delhi March 2016 hosted by Art of Living, where she was first introduced to India and its amazing children. Parry is an active member of Vint Cerf's and Mei Lin Fung's People-Centered Internet to help address digital responsible design and risk management.