Privacy Advisor

Privacy Thoughts for 2014

January 2, 2014

By Sam Pfeifle
Publications Director

Privacy, both the word itself and the concept, got plenty of attention in year-end wrap-ups. Not surprisingly, it got a bit of attention in looks forward to 2014 as well. Here’s a quick wrap-up of who had what to say:

Writing for The Huffington Post, Christina Gagnier made the argument that start-ups need to be invited “to the Privacy Regulation Party.” While large firms, advocate organizations and academics are often invited to participate in policy discussions such as a recent joint committee hearing of the California Assembly Judiciary Committee, rarely do you see the small firms, she argued, for which privacy compliance is a true burden.

“It was unsettling,” she writes, “to hear some who gave testimony intimate that privacy compliance does not have a cost if ‘companies do their jobs.’ Actually, it does cost human capital, money and time to effectively manage privacy.”

• In a similar economic vein, venture capitalist Michael Dearing writes for All Things D that the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) scandal and privacy compliance as a whole threaten the very core of Silicon Valley. While he believes the “people who work at the NSA are patriots,” the NSA revelations are damaging for business, and “Integrity of our products, creative freedom of talented people and trust with our users are the casualties.”

• It is not surprising, then, that Evan Schuman, writing for Computerworld, says 2014 is “Time to Rethink Privacy.” “Every industy—nay, every company—will come to very different decisions based on the concerns of their employees and customers.” Will these companies, he wonders, choose the “right” privacy policy or the one that maximizes profits?

HealthITSecurity predicts a number of trends for the coming year, including that same examination of privacy policies by health organizations small and large. Look for, Patrick Ouellette argues, the rise of managed security services and an easing of the issues that BYOD creates as policies and tech come into focus.

• Finally, the media teems with lessons on protecting privacy nowadays. In just one op-ed from NBC News, you can see that how to “hack-proof your life” is now a standard lesson being taught by the big news agencies. Here’s a New Year’s Resolution for 2014: “Change your terrible passwords.”

Read More By Sam Pfeifle:
Commercial UAV Use in U.S. Takes Next Step Forward
The Year’s Top 10 Stories in The Privacy Advisor
German Parliament Elects New Federal Data Protection Commissioner
IAPP Introduces New Suite of Free, CPE-Eligible Web Conferences for Members