As privacy professionals, we have the opportunity to help companies restore balance in the personal data ecosystem by considering the business needs of our employers as well as those of the individual. Many companies are reluctant to institute transformative changes, yet these changes could create an environment in which individuals feel good about sharing more data. Reluctance may stem from the belief that if you give consumers more choice and control, you risk losing the data you have already collected. However, numerous research studies continue to prove this is wrong. In fact, history will show that those who hoard data will eventually lose the data.
To give the individual control over the use of their data, our industry needs to look beyond static, “detective” approaches to privacy practices. Privacy Impact Assessments, privacy awareness training, and compliance auditing will always have a place, but we should embrace technology as an enabler of preventative privacy controls. And while technology cannot solve every privacy issue, it can get us closer to “walking the walk” of the “talk we talk” in privacy notices.