Data Privacy: It's Your Job


Someone raised the question this week about who is responsible for data privacy. Well, it's you and me, and him and her, and them over there. It's the analytics pro, the developer, the CEO, CFO, CIO, and CMO. It's the marketing intern working with a prospect list and the office cleaner who has to dump the right papers into the right bin for shredding.

In planning the upcoming All Analytics Academy program: Data Privacy for You, for All, we chose to look at some of the faces of data privacy. We have sessions focused on protecting the privacy of customers and of employees. Our five expert presenters will look at building privacy into the computing infrastructure and corporate processes. We will look at the privacy considerations for companies doing business on a multinational scale, and at how marketers can balance the need to strengthen brand awareness while not abusing their lists.

Then there are the faces of those who are responsible for privacy. It might be easy to point to someone with a title like chief privacy officer or someone in legal who writes policies or even the chief security officer (CSO).

But really, privacy is ingrained in all of our jobs. If we cut corners for the sake of efficiency and thus put customer data at risk, are we doing our jobs? If the CEO and CIO place unrealistic deadlines on the dev team to get an application out the door without additional testing, how can any of the parties say they did their job? If that marketing intern breaks policy and saturates a list with emails, how can we say they are doing their job?

Oh, everyone has their fallback excuses: "We'll fix that bug later," "But I had to send it today," "Nobody complained last time."

As your mom might have said, "Excuses don't cut it."

We have to own privacy, all of us. We have to treat the data of our customers and coworkers as we would want someone to treat ours. You know, the old "do unto others" thing. So, even if you don't have "privacy" in your title or job description, check out the agenda for the A2 Academy that launches on Tuesday. I'm sure you will find a topic or two that can help you do your job better.

James M. Connolly, Editor of All Analytics

Jim Connolly is a versatile and experienced technology journalist who has reported on IT trends for more than two decades. As editor of All Analytics he writes about the move to big data analytics and data-driven decision making. Over the years he has covered enterprise computing, the PC revolution, client/server, the evolution of the Internet, the rise of web-based business, and IT management. He has covered breaking industry news and has led teams focused on product reviews and technology trends. Throughout his tech journalism career, he has concentrated on serving the information needs of IT decision-makers in large organizations and has worked with those managers to help them learn from their peers and share their experiences in implementing leading-edge technologies through publications including Computerworld. Jim also has helped to launch a technology-focused startup, as one of the founding editors at TechTarget, and has served as editor of an established news organization focused on technology startups and the Boston-area venture capital sector at MassHighTech. A former crime reporter for the Boston Herald, he majored in journalism at Northeastern University.

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Re: See you in class
  • 11/9/2016 11:24:15 AM
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Yes, we all get a bit sloppy from time to time and that small slip up from any employee from top to bottom of the chain can lead to some embarassing or even costly privacy breaches. It's always refreshing to get more insights into the issues involved in privacy protections.

Re: Widespread analytics, widespread privacy
  • 11/1/2016 1:19:22 PM
NO RATINGS

..

Seth writes


I figure I'm the only person who's actions I can keep an eye on so it's up to me. That said, I've used Facebook so many times to sign up for other things that my data has speen spread wide and far.  What I do try to do is not save my credit card and banking information with other sites and other sensative information.


 

I've long considered sending things over the Internet similar to sending postcards through the mail – maybe slightly more secure than, say, skywriting your messages or posting them on a public bulletin board in the supermarket.

The big problem is all that personal financial-type stuff that one way or another you're often required to send in order to get something done. This AM in order to process a transaction I had to fill out a form with my credit card info and signature and then fax it somewhere. Definitely made me nervous, but it was probably more secure than the Internet ...

 

Re: Widespread analytics, widespread privacy
  • 10/31/2016 6:00:32 PM
NO RATINGS

I figure I'm the only person who's actions I can keep an eye on so it's up to me. That said, I've used Facebook so many times to sign up for other things that my data has speen spread wide and far.  What I do try to do is not save my credit card and banking information with other sites and other sensative information.

Re: Widespread analytics, widespread privacy
  • 10/31/2016 2:21:52 PM
NO RATINGS

Lyndon writes; 'Seems to me the issue of data privacy to a considerable extent is intertwined with issues of (a) data security and (b) civil liberties' In consideration of all aspects and related issues, balance is what we should strive for. Too often we gravity to the extreme positions. either, or, seldom both to proper measure.

Re: Widespread analytics, widespread privacy
  • 10/30/2016 1:08:19 PM
NO RATINGS

@Lyndon. Good point about liberty and security. Privacy certainly bridges both.

See you in class
  • 10/30/2016 10:56:10 AM
NO RATINGS

I'm looking forward to this A2 Academy session! This is a timley topic worth exploring in this age. 

Re: Widespread analytics, widespread privacy
  • 10/28/2016 11:06:06 PM
NO RATINGS

Civil liberties and how they are interpreted in publicized instances will be contentious for a while.  Data is associated with the people involved in many instances.  We're still working to understand how much data accurately represents police gun violence against african-americans, and there are other social issues where we are learning the data gaps.  We're just on the cusp of representing our world digitally.

Re: Widespread analytics, widespread privacy
  • 10/28/2016 10:47:52 PM
NO RATINGS

..

Seems to me the issue of data privacy to a considerable extent is intertwined with issues of (a) data security and (b) civil liberties.

 

Widespread analytics, widespread privacy
  • 10/28/2016 3:07:21 PM
NO RATINGS

Given the nature of analytics becoming so ingrained in business, alongside data, I'm surprised anyone would look to one person to "know it all". It's a system that require systematic responses alongside that singular management.

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