CES and Data Privacy

CES and Data Privacy

Facebook privacy issues

James Martin/CNET

Data privacy was present at the Consumer Electronics Show, however, the way in which tech companies are protecting privacy is still unclear.  

This week, more than 180,000 people gathered in Las Vegas for the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) expecting to be impressed by the latest technology products. However, attendees found that data privacy was present among the new technologies and companies.

The first proof of the importance of privacy in this year’s CES came from Apple in the form of a giant billboard on a building in Las Vegas that read “What happens on your iPhone, stays on your iPhone.” Since 2016, Apple has used privacy as a competitive advantage going as far as Tim Cook denouncing that data is being “weaponized against us with military efficiency by the data-industrial complex.” Even though Apple does not have a presence inside the CES, it’s marketing brilliance was made evident with the billboard.

Inside the event, privacy was present in various ways:

  • Steve Koening, Consumer Technology Association Vice President, spoke about the importance of data for today’s technology and how data privacy and security are more relevant than ever.
  • BlackBerry announced “BlackBerry Secure,” a new branding that aims to position the company among consumers and manufacturers as a referent in data security and privacy.
  • LG introduced ThinkQ, an AI platform that gives personalized recommendations based on usage patterns. David Vanderwaall, SVP of marketing for LG Electronic’s US Arm, mentioned that the company is using a hybrid privacy-protection method in which the device stores individual usage data, but only aggregated data is sent to the cloud.
  • Mycroft, a smart assistant that competes with Amazon’s Alexa and Google Assitant, does not collect or store any data from the users as do the other two. It will be interesting to see how intelligent the assistant can be without collecting data.
  • A conference titled “American Privacy Regulations in a Post-GDPR World” featured Walmart’s Director of Global Public Policy, Consumer Technology Association’s SVP of Government and Regulatory Affairs, among others, discussing privacy regulations.

In 2019 we will see data privacy becoming a business imperative, either because organizations have to comply with regulations and/or because consumers are demanding it. However, organizations have the responsibility to move from using data privacy as a marketing/buzzword to educating customers on how personal data is protected. 

Weekly News #3

Weekly News #3

Facebook privacy issues

Experts predict that data privacy will take the center stage in 2019 and that organizations will have to fully embrace it. Google and other cloud providers are already jumping into the privacy wave by offering de-identification tools for healthcare data. 

Data privacy became a major topic in 2018. On one hand, GDPR came into effect in Europe affecting organizations from all over the world. On the other hand, massive cases of data breaches and data misuse where reported leading to customer concerns and legislators proposing new privacy laws.

2019 is expected to be a year in which organizations shift from considering privacy as a nice-to-have to a must-have. This shift will come in part from legislation but also from consumers demanding stronger data protection. Kristina Bergman, CEO of Integris Software Inc., predicts that in 2019 :

  • we will see the rise of the Chief Information Security Officer;
  • privacy and security will be seen as a continuum;
  • a growing conflict between privacy vs. the Data Industrial Complex;
  • the growth of data privacy automation.

In Canada, Howard Solomon interviewed four privacy and security experts, and these are their predictions:

  • David Senf, founder and chief analyst at the Toronto cyber consultancy Cyverity, predicts an increase in the demand of cybersecurity experts to protect against data breaches.
  • Ann Cavoukian, Expert-in-Residence at Ryerson University’s Privacy by Design Centre of Excellence, predicts that 2019 will be a “privacy eye-opener” with a growth of decentralization and SmartData.
  • Imran Ahmad, a partner at the law firm of Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP, advises that HR should become more involved in preventing data misuse.
  • Ahmed Etman, managing director for security at Accenture Canada, warns that organizations have to be careful of cyberattacks against their supply chain.

Meanwhile, some organizations are jumping into the privacy wave by launching products to help their customers make better use of their data while protecting privacy:

One thing we can be sure in 2019 is that data privacy and security will continue to make headlines.