Data Privacy Day 2019

One is the balance between privacy and innovation. How can we use data to gain insights into education (like which schools do the best job of teaching low-income students) or health (like which doctors provide the best care for a reasonable price) while protecting people’s privacy?Bill Gates

 “It’s not enough to give people control of their information, we have to make sure developers they’ve given it to are protecting it too.”Mark Zuckerberg

“We can do better’ on explaining privacy controls to users”Sundar Pichai

“In 2019, it’s time to stand up for the right to privacy—yours, mine, all of ours. Consumers shouldn’t have to tolerate another year of companies irresponsibly amassing huge user profiles, data breaches that seem out of control and the vanishing ability to control our own digital lives.”Tim Cook

 “My own point of view is that it’s a fantastic start in treating privacy as a human right,” – Satya Nadella

Data Privacy day 2019 has more significance as we start a movement to gain control of our digital lives.  There has been an increased awareness to be socially responsible in handling our personal data among the tech heavy weights.

Navigating privacy waters is not easy as lines blurry with explicit and implicit consent.  Regulations can help provide boundaries but, like any regulation, there are more grey areas and when it affects our personal lives, they become black and white.

In 2000, DoubleClick was sued for violating consumer privacy laws.  In the end, it got sold to GOOG for $3.1B.  GOOG went on to pay fines for privacy violations over the years but, it did not change our perception of GOOG services.  Remember OnStar, the lifesaving feature in GM vehicles which turned out to be a privacy nightmare.

In the world of cybersecurity, we expect care takers of our digital data to prevent bad guys from stealing it but, when the care takers misuse our data due to complex legal consents, who is the real thief?

Working in the world of cybersecurity and data privacy for decades, I have never seen simplicity as a #1 requirement in products and services. IT maybe time to take legal teams within enterprises are main drivers of privacy and start educating developers, entrepreneurs, product designers on being more transparent on privacy.

We will need to continue to share data responsibly to make our lives easier but, let us start to demand more of our data caretakers.