I took a look at this, and have requested the brochure. So you have to understand that I believe that this workshop is a good thing. At the same time, reading the web blurb made me think of a few things. The second thing I saw was the footnote: Please note that the IAPP Certification Program is, at the time of printing, still in development. The Workshops will be based upon the expected common body of knowledge that will be covered by the IAPP Certification. However, there may be additional subjects covered by the test that are not addressed in these Workshops.
In other words, we want $500 so that we can tell you what we think might be on on the certification exam that we haven't finished writing yet.
The first thing that I noticed was this phrase in the first paragraph, "...body of knowledge...". Further on it states that, "The IAPP's body of knowledge will advance privacy as a systemic process to manage compliance". Cool. If there is likely to be a group of people that can come up with a 'body of knowledge' like this they are going to come from a place like Carnegie Mellon in cooperation with the practitioners in the IAPP. I've been doing privacy work for a little while now, and a couple of things are clear. Like Y2K, many people see the potential for billable hours as directly related to the level of panic that they can create. The last thing these people want is a rational, understandable and ultimately controllable approach to data management that will actually protect individuals' data. Much better to have businss managers and privacy advocates in a tizzy. So believe me when I say I really hope for a 'body of knowledge' on privacy.