Beyond compliance

With all of the good work accomplished in the data privacy field each day, it is easy to sometimes forget how far there is to go. A funny thing happened recently to remind me that, despite all the progress of this profession, our work is not done.

Like many organizations, the IAPP monitors the Web for use of its name. Earlier this month our name popped up in the privacy policy of a national nonprofit organization with whom the IAPP has never been affiliated. A brief inspection of the policy revealed its origins—the policy of an organization with which the IAPP has been affiliated.

A closer look revealed that this organization had copied wholesale the privacy policy of an unrelated entity and, presumably, used the find-replace function to insert its name where the original organization’s name had been—product names, affiliations, and industry-specific citations remained.

The effort in the marketplace to drop policies onto every Web site has been successful. But we cannot disconnect the posting of a policy from the active management of a privacy program. This copy-and-paste policy approach, while quick, undercuts the valuable and intellectually strenuous work of developing sound, thoughtful privacy policies that help establish trust in the marketplace.

In a speech earlier this month, EU Consumer Protection Commissioner Meglena Kuneva cited the need for a heightened level of Internet trust and privacy awareness to help Europeans feel comfortable engaging in e-commerce. She said: “Confidence and trust is the new currency in Europe.” Her words could not be more timely.

Ours is not a cookie-cutter profession. The convoluted nature of and tempestuous legal environment surrounding data privacy requires hands-on, highly tailored solutions. Each day technological advances drive new innovations in goods and services that require more thought, more effort on the part of those of us dedicated to privacy work. There’s a heck of a lot more to that than a click-and-drop privacy policy.

I hope the aforementioned organization enlists the expertise of a privacy professional soon. And I hope to see many of you next month at the IAPP Practical Privacy Series in Silicon Valley, where Heartland Payment Systems Chairman and CEO Bob Carr will discuss his company’s data breach, and what Heartland is doing to help others prevent data breaches.

J. Trevor Hughes, CIPP
Executive Director, IAPP


If you want to comment on this post, you need to login.


Board of Directors

See the esteemed group of leaders shaping the future of the IAPP.

Contact Us

Need someone to talk to? We’re here for you.

IAPP Staff

Looking for someone specific? Visit the staff directory.

Learn more about the IAPP»

Daily Dashboard

The day’s top stories from around the world

Privacy Perspectives

Where the real conversations in privacy happen

The Privacy Advisor

Original reporting and feature articles on the latest privacy developments

Privacy Tracker

Alerts and legal analysis of legislative trends

Privacy Tech

Exploring the technology of privacy

Canada Dashboard Digest

A roundup of the top Canadian privacy news

Europe Data Protection Digest

A roundup of the top European data protection news

Asia-Pacific Dashboard Digest

A roundup of the top privacy news from the Asia-Pacific region

IAPP Westin Research Center

Original works. Groundbreaking research. Emerging scholars.

Advertise in IAPP Publications

Find out how to get your message in front the people you want to reach. Download a media kit now.

Get more News »

Find a KnowledgeNet Chapter Near You

Network and talk privacy at IAPP KnowledgeNet meetings, taking place worldwide.

Women Leading Privacy

Events, volunteer opportunities and more designed to help you give and get career support and expand your network.

IAPP Job Board

Looking for a new challenge, or need to hire your next privacy pro? The IAPP Job Board is the answer.

Join the Privacy List

Have ideas? Need advice? Subscribe to the Privacy List. It’s crowdsourcing, with an exceptional crowd.

Find more ways to Connect »

Find a Privacy Training Class

Two-day privacy training classes are held around the world. See the complete schedule now.

Online Privacy Training

Build your knowledge. The privacy know-how you need is just a click away.

The Training Post—Can’t-Miss Training Updates

Subscribe now to get the latest alerts on training opportunities around the world.

New Web Conferences Added!

See our list of upcoming web conferences. Just log on, listen in and learn!

Train Your Staff

Get your team up to speed on privacy by bringing IAPP training to your organization.

Learn more »

CIPP Certification

The global standard for the go-to person for privacy laws, regulations and frameworks

CIPM Certification

The first and only privacy certification for professionals who manage day-to-day operations

CIPT Certification

The industry benchmark for IT professionals worldwide to validate their knowledge of privacy requirements

Certify Your Staff

Find out how you can bring the world’s only globally recognized privacy certification to a group in your organization.

Learn more about IAPP certification »

Get Close-up

Looking for tools and info on a hot topic? Our close-up pages organize it for you in one easy-to-find place.

Where's Your DPA?

Our interactive DPA locator helps you find data protection authorities and summary of law by country.

IAPP Westin Research Center

See the latest original research from the IAPP Westin fellows.

Looking for Certification Study Resources?

Find out what you need to prepare for your exams

More Resources »

GDPR Comprehensive: Registration Open

New! Intensive two-day GDPR training led by the sharpest minds in the field. It's a can't-miss event.

The Congress Is Cancelled

The IAPP Europe Data Protection Congress 2015 is cancelled. Click through to learn more.

Sponsor an Event

Increase visibility for your organization—check out sponsorship opportunities today.

Exhibit at an Event

Put your brand in front of the largest gatherings of privacy pros in the world. Learn more.

More Conferences »

Become a Member

Start taking advantage of the many IAPP member benefits today

Corporate Members

See our list of high-profile corporate members—and find out why you should become one, too

Renew Your Membership

Don’t miss out for a minute—continue accessing your benefits

Join the IAPP»