You and Your Company’s Data: Is it Private?

by | Jun 18, 2019 | Data privacy, Data Privacy Solutions, GDPR, Privacy laws, Privacy News

Facebook privacy issues

Public privacy is an issue we face today, globally. Let’s compare UK and US privacy awareness and learn why, as Chief Privacy Officers are increasing in the government sector, PETs are on the rise too. 

We need a global right to privacy in public spaces

Nowadays, digital surveillance combined with AI has become more and more invasive. 

Fortunately, in-person surveillance is neither time-efficient nor cost-effective. However, our phones alone provide disturbing amounts of data to companies by tracking our movements, searches, calls, and texts. What’s worse, as facial recognition software develops, it will only become easier and easier to follow our every move.

Additionally, AI has boosted the invasiveness of public surveillance, allowing recognition as we walk the streets.

Unfortunately, China is looking to harness this personal data for social control and behavioural engineering, in hopes to punish people for bad behaviour and reward people for good behaviour.

China is not alone, as there are other countries out there that are developing data harnessing technologies and selling them to government bodies to gain more control over their people.

Two major courses of action come from this: we need stronger controls on the production and sale of these tools, and we need to define the rights to privacy in a public setting.

How employees and their organizations are prioritizing data privacy

It is now clear that the UK is doing much better than the US in terms of data privacy, from the perspectives of legal understanding and training opportunities.

In a survey conducted in the US and the UK to check employees knowledge of their organizations’ current stance on privacy regulations, it was found that about 60% of employees in both countries handle sensitive information every day. Additional results indicated that while only 17% of UK respondents were unaware of privacy laws dictating how their companies manage sensitive data, a stunning 52% of US respondents replied in the same unaware manner.

Surprisingly, one year after the implementation of GDPR, 84% of UK employees feel they understand their professional data compliance obligations and half agree that their information is safer now with GDPR.

As we all know, privacy is a booming concern in our world. Thus, it is beneficial to us all to be aware of current legislature and compliance measures.

Privacy-enhancing technology for data analysis

More and more government agencies are appointing CPOs, or Chief Privacy Officers, and with that, comes privacy-enhancing technology (PET).

What are PETs? They are technologies that enable agencies to leverage the increasing amount of data available for analysis, and at the same time, ensuring private information stays private.

To ensure privacy officers are familiar with PET, the Royal Society has recently published a report detailing five prominent PETs at the moment:

  • Homomorphic encryption
  • Trusted execution
  • Secure multiparty computation
  • Differential privacy
  • Personal data stores

These PETs help with secure access, but they also allow for joint analysis of data by several organizations and secured data outsourcing to the Cloud.

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