When in Washington a couple of weeks ago for the IAPP Global Privacy Summit, I had the chance to hear Ken Bamberger and Deirdre Mulligan give a keynote about their research that fed into in their new book, "Privacy on the Ground." It was a dynamic talk and raised issues I’ve thought about for some time — how different cultures operationalize privacy differently, and why.
I got the book this week and, although I’ve only read the first few chapters, I can tell I’m going to learn from it and looking forward to the rest. This, even though the two authors didn’t really examine the Canadian privacy landscape, but instead focused on the difference between a few European countries and the United States.
A key theme at the outset of the book has to do with whether or not privacy is ultimately just a goal — the end game — versus the ideology that privacy is more of a way of doing things.
This same theme weaved its way into a webinar I participated in recently with my friends Gerry Steigmaier and Phil Lee. Again, we talked about how doing privacy is not simply about achieving a state of compliance, but rather doing privacy means adopting a particular way to do things. As Canadians, we can easily point to Privacy by Design as the embodiment of this theory. But just because we may have coined the term, doesn't mean we are actually good at it in practice.
This week, along with reading my nifty new book, I’m helping a new client figure out a way it can use the data it receives from its clients to learn more about their industry and come up with metrics. Of course, their plan involves the use of personal information. I’m knee-deep in providing advice: not just making sure privacy is complied with, but that privacy is fully baked in as a way of doing things properly for these folks who want to do the right thing. Kudos to any businesses who want to approach it this way, and to using people like me to help, eh!
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