Privacy by Design

As data breaches continue to make headlines, more and more organizations are realizing the importance of privacy. But privacy shouldn’t just be an afterthought or a reaction to negative press. It should be built into every aspect of an organization’s systems from the ground up. That’s where the concept of Privacy by Design (PbD) comes in. In this article, we’ll explore what PbD is, why it’s important, and how IT managers can ensure it’s incorporated into their systems.

What is Privacy by Design?

Privacy by Design is a concept that was first introduced in the 1990s by Ann Cavoukian, the former Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario. The idea behind PbD is that privacy should be incorporated into every stage of the design and development process of a product, service, or system. In other words, privacy should not be an afterthought or something that’s added on later. Instead, it should be built into the design from the very beginning.

There are seven principles of PbD:

  1. Proactive not Reactive; Preventative not Remedial
  2. Privacy as the Default Setting
  3. Privacy Embedded into Design
  4. Full Functionality – Positive-Sum, not Zero-Sum
  5. End-to-End Security – Full Lifecycle Protection
  6. Visibility and Transparency – Keep it Open
  7. Respect for User Privacy – Keep it User-Centric

Why is Privacy by Design important?

Privacy by Design is important for several reasons. First and foremost, it helps to prevent data breaches and other privacy violations. By building privacy into a system from the beginning, organizations can ensure that the system is secure and that user data is protected. This can help to prevent costly and embarrassing data breaches, which can damage an organization’s reputation and lead to legal consequences.

Second, PbD can help organizations to comply with privacy regulations. Many jurisdictions around the world have privacy laws that require organizations to take certain steps to protect user data. By building privacy into their systems, organizations can ensure that they are complying with these regulations and avoid the risk of fines and other penalties.

Finally, PbD can help organizations to build trust with their users. In today’s world, where data breaches and other privacy violations are becoming increasingly common, users are more aware of the importance of privacy. By demonstrating a commitment to privacy by incorporating it into their systems from the beginning, organizations can build trust with their users and differentiate themselves from competitors who may not be taking privacy as seriously.

How can IT Managers ensure Privacy by Design?

Now that we’ve explored what PbD is and why it’s important, let’s talk about how IT managers can ensure that it’s incorporated into their systems.

  1. Educate yourself and your team: The first step in ensuring PbD is to educate yourself and your team about the concept and its principles. Make sure that everyone on your team understands the importance of privacy and how it should be incorporated into the design and development process.
  2. Conduct a privacy impact assessment: Before you start designing and developing a system, conduct a privacy impact assessment (PIA). A PIA is a process that helps to identify and assess the privacy risks associated with a system. It can help you to identify potential privacy issues and develop strategies to mitigate those risks.
  3. Use privacy-enhancing technologies: There are many technologies available that can help to enhance privacy. For example, encryption can help to protect user data, while anonymization can help to prevent the identification of individual users. Make sure that you’re using these technologies where appropriate.
  4. Involve privacy experts: If you don’t have privacy expertise on your team, consider bringing in outside experts to help. These experts can help you to identify potential

How can product managers ensure Pbd is implemented ?

Product managers spearhead changes in the product being delivered to the customers. They have the yearly, three yearly and five yearly product roadmaps. Product managers are expected to bring out new features that would bring value to the customers and some of them features may involve taking Personal identifiable Information or change /improve the security set up of the SAAS product being delivered. It is of paramount importance that during the design phase, InfoSec and Legal teams are involved to ensure that appropriate systems and processes are in place before such features are being rolled out.

This can be having a checklist for PM for every user story that goes into the sprint grooming session. The PM would be asked to answer Yes/No to the set of three questions provided. The three questions are as follows

  1. Does the user story involves collection of PII data?
  2. Does the user story involve a change in the Shared Security Responsibility Model of the SAAS product being delivered?
  3. Does the user story enable the application to have various sources of truth to different users?

If the answer is Yes to any of these three questions, the InfoSec and Legal stakeholders are invited to give their view points. The user story can be in any product management tool such as JIRA or Aha which enables multiple stakeholders from various parts of the organization to comment their views, thereby ensuring transparency. The Legal and InfoSec team are required to provide all those insights which the product manager would not be aware of. These insights would be valuable for the PM to calculate the effort taken to not only release the feature but to also be legally compliant according to the rules of the state. For those user stories where all the answers are No, InfoSec and Legal need not be involved.

About the author

Mavin Davies

Hi, I am Mavin Davies, an aspiring blogger with newly founded obsession for digital technology . This blog is dedicated to helping people to know more about project management, product management and information security

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