The concepts behind the Privacy by Design movement are decades old. The first papers laying the groundwork for the theory were published by Ann Cavoukian, Ph.D., in the 1990s. But just because the concepts are so timeless doesn’t mean you should ignore them or assume that anyone has paid attention to them in your organization.

As Cavoukian wrote, privacy “cannot be assured solely by compliance with regulatory frameworks; rather, assurance must ideally become an organization’s default mode of operation.” So true — and even more important today.

Look at the trend toward embracing bring-your-own-device (BYOD), using more cloud-based services and outsourcing your network infrastructure and apps; all of these need to be considered and designed with privacy at the forefront.

Seven Tips for Better Privacy Practices

Similar to security by design — a close relation — there are best practices for how to handle change management across your enterprise infrastructure. Here are some foundational principles of the movement, as outlined by Cavoukian, as well as why they are still relevant and important.

1. Proactive, Not Reactive — Preventative, Not Remedial

Make sure privacy is considered before any project begins. You don’t want to come in at the end of a project, when an app is about to be completed, and handle issues when it is too late to truly rectify them.

2. It Should Happen by Default

Make sure your systems are set up in such a way as to provide the best private operations by default. “If an individual does nothing, their privacy still remains intact,” Cavoukian explained. That is a good strategy, but sadly, many systems today come with default settings that provide the opposite.

3. It’s a Win-Win

Adding these considerations should be a win for both the enterprise and the individual. At the same time, it shouldn’t take anything away from the code or project underway. It isn’t a question of privacy or security; it should be both.

4. It Should Be Embedded Into a Design

Privacy measures should never be bolted on as an afterthought. When it’s included from the beginning, “the result is that privacy becomes an essential component of the core functionality being delivered. It is integral to the system, without diminishing functionality.”

5. Strong Security Measures Are Essential, From End-to-End

You need to ensure life cycle management of your data. Too often, I see this missing in many code and project reviews.

6. Being Open and Transparent Matters

Having transparent policies and measures is also very important. Remember trust but verify? It still applies. Don’t rely on security by obscurity or obfuscation. Let the sunshine in.

7. Keep It User-Centric

The more you let the user know what is going on and make your code user-friendly, the better.

More from Intelligence & Analytics

2022 Industry Threat Recap: Finance and Insurance

The finance and insurance sector proved a top target for cybersecurity threats in 2022. The IBM Security X-Force Threat Intelligence Index 2023 found this sector ranked as the second most attacked, with 18.9% of X-Force incident response cases. If, as Shakespeare tells us, past is prologue, this sector will likely remain a target in 2023. Finance and insurance ranked as the most attacked sector from 2016 to 2020, with the manufacturing sector the most attacked in 2021 and 2022. What…

And Stay Out! Blocking Backdoor Break-Ins

Backdoor access was the most common threat vector in 2022. According to the 2023 IBM Security X-Force Threat Intelligence Index, 21% of incidents saw the use of backdoors, outpacing perennial compromise favorite ransomware, which came in at just 17%. The good news? In 67% of backdoor attacks, defenders were able to disrupt attacker efforts and lock digital doorways before ransomware payloads were deployed. The not-so-great news? With backdoor access now available at a bargain price on the dark web, businesses…

Cyber Storm Predicted at the 2023 World Economic Forum

According to the Global Cybersecurity Outlook 2023, 93% of cybersecurity leaders and 86% of business leaders think a far-reaching, catastrophic cyber event is at least somewhat likely in the next two years. Additionally, 43% of organizational leaders think it is likely that a cyberattack will affect their organization severely in the next two years. With cybersecurity concerns on everyone’s mind, the topic received top billing at the recent World Economic Forum’s Annual Meeting 2023 in Davos, Switzerland. At the meeting, Matthew…

2022 Industry Threat Recap: Manufacturing

It seems like yesterday that industries were fumbling to understand the threats posed by post-pandemic economic and technological changes. While every disruption provides opportunities for positive change, it's hard to ignore the impact that global supply chains, rising labor costs, digital currency and environmental regulations have had on commerce worldwide. Many sectors are starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel. But 2022 has shown us that manufacturing still faces some dark clouds ahead when combatting persistent…