This week, like some of you, I travelled to the U.S. for the IAPP Global Privacy Summit. As usual, it’s a great conference so far, and now that it is almost over, I’m looking toward the next big event: the IAPP Canada Symposium. The programming for our event is fantastic, and, if this sold-out Summit is any indication of the growth our profession is experiencing, I’m looking forward to a similarly popular Symposium, buzzing with energy and enthusiasm.
This week at the Summit, I’ve been struck by the number of sessions dealing with data breach. I attended one yesterday—Data Breach Outside of the United States: What You Need To Know—and the room was jam-packed. Then, during the breaks, I strolled through the Exhibitor Hall, and again I noticed the large number of vendors present that want your business when you experience a breach.
I suppose I, too, am one of those people (when I’m not wearing my IAPP hat) so I had better be careful what I say about those who make a living from someone else’s bad fortune! In some cases, breaches are inevitable, and if we can learn something about them and improve organizations’ privacy practices as a result, we’re heading in the right direction. What is clear is that if it’s not government surveillance, it’s the data breach phenomenon that is dominating the discussion. It’s no surprise, then, that what you’ll see in this week’s news is a number of data breach stories that were, once again, generating headlines.
Also in the news is an article about Ontario Information and Privacy Commissioner Ann Cavoukian expressing her thoughts on the future of privacy protection and, in particular, how emphasis needs to be placed on the principle of accountability. This story dovetailed nicely with another session at the Summit in which the future of the Fair Information Principles was hashed out. This particular topic offers a refreshing twist on the nuts-and-bolt discussions about data breaches. After all, while data breaches clearly expose a weakness in a data security program, it is the obligation to respond to that breach that pushes the accountability envelope.
All in all, very good discussions and lots of news this week. One great conference will be coming to an end, and another will be just over the horizon. On that front, if there’s anything in particular you’re hoping to see at this year’s Symposium, let me know so we can continue to give you the programming you’re looking for.
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