Privacy by design

In today’s world, data breaches and cyberattacks are becoming increasingly common, leaving many of us feeling exposed and vulnerable. As technology evolves at a rapid pace, it’s become more important than ever to prioritize privacy in our digital lives.
Privacy by design (PbD) – an concept that blends the worlds of security and privacy to offer users and customers a seamless experience while keeping their personal information secure.
In this article, we’ll explore how privacy by design works, why it matters now more than ever before, and what steps you can take to protect customers’ personal data.

Whether you are developing or procuring for a product as a software solution, fin-tech app or product, medical equipment, a car or any other product that make use of personal data of your customers or employees, you need to think of securing the data right from the beginning of product development.

It’s no secret that privacy is becoming a bigger concern for organizations of all sizes. The EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is one of the most high-profile examples of this trend, but it’s certainly not the only data privacy regulation out there. Not to mention the fines already imposed around the EU for data breaches, which can be up to €20M! Just to name some the most recent in the below table:

CountryDateFineCompany
Spain13/04/202€ 112,00Vodafone España, S.A.U.
United Kingdom04/04/2023€ 14,500,000Tiktok
France16/03/2023€ 125,00CITYSCOOT
Norway08/03/2023€ 220,000Argon Medical Devices
Ireland27/02/2023€ 750,000Bank of Ireland 365
Finland17/02/2023€ 440,000Suomen Asiakastieto Oy
Norway06/02/2023€ 900,000Sats ASA
The Netherlands19/01/2023€ 150,000Dutch Social Insurance Institution (SVB)
Ireland19/01/2023€ 5, 500,000WhatsApp Ireland Ltd.
Ireland04/01/2023€ 390,000,000Meta Platforms Ireland Limited.
Italy15/12/2022€ 4,900,000Edison Energia S.p.A.
Finland13/12/2022€ 750,000Alektum Oy
Finland09/12/2022€ 230,000Viking Line Oy Abp
United Kingdom19/10/2022€ 5,033,000Interserve Group Limited

In order to comply with these regulations, as well as foster a culture of privacy within your organization, you need to take a proactive approach.

Privacy by Design – a Brief Reminder

When it comes to privacy, we often think of it as something that needs to be protected. But what if privacy was designed into products and services from the start? This is the philosophy behind Privacy by Design (PbD).

PbD is an approach to data privacy that starts with considering how personal data will be collected and used before any technology is even developed. By taking privacy into account from the beginning, PbD can help avoid many of the problems that can arise when personal data is mishandled.

One key element of PbD is data minimization, which means only collecting the minimum amount of personal data necessary for a specific purpose. This helps reduce the risks associated with handling large amounts of sensitive, and very often unnecessary, data.

Another important aspect of PbD is person’s control of their own personal data. Customers, employees, etc, should have control over their own data, including being able to choose what information is shared and with whom. This allows people to maintain some degree of control over their own privacy.

PbD also emphasizes security. Personal data should be stored securely and access should be limited to those who need it. This helps protect people’s information from being accessed or misused without their consent.

Privacy by Design is a must have approach in our increasingly digital world. By considering privacy at every stage of product development, you can help create products and services that better protect people’s personal information.

Benefits For Your Organization of Privacy by Design

There are many benefits of Privacy by Design, including:

  1. Improving security: By building privacy into design, products and services are more secure and less likely to leak sensitive data.
  2. Reducing costs: When privacy is addressed early on in the design process, it can save businesses time and money down the line.
  3. Enhancing trust: Customers are more likely to trust companies that take their privacy seriously and respect their data rights.
  4. Boosting innovation: Designing with privacy in mind can lead to new ideas and better ways of doing things.
  5. Fostering competition: A level playing field is created when all companies have to consider privacy in their designs.

Organizational Security Measures for Making Your Data Secure

There are many organizational measures available to help ensure your data is kept secure. Here are just a few:

  • Data minimization: This is a practice of keeping only the data that is absolutely necessary and getting rid of anything that isn’t needed. This helps to reduce the risk of unauthorized access and misuse.
  • Personal Data Protection Policy: An internal statement that governs an organization’s handling of personal information. It is directed at those employees of the organization who might handle or make decisions regarding the personal data.
  • Vendor Privacy Management: Measures to ensure that personal data processed on behalf of your organization are processed strictly in compliance with your strict instructions, as well as auditing the performance of contracts.
  • Binding Corporate Rules: they are an safeguard allowed by the GDPR to facilitate cross-border transfers of personal data between the various entities of a corporate group worldwide.
  • Storage Limitation: Since that personal data must be kept for no longer than is necessary, organizations have to define the maximum necessary period of retention for each data processing activity.

These are just a few of the many measures available for keeping personal data secure. Privacy by design takes into account all aspects of security, so be sure to consider all of your options when it comes to protecting your information.

Technical Security Measures You Can Implement

There are many technical security measures you can implement to help ensure the privacy of your users’ data. Some of these measures include:

  1. Encryption: Encrypting user data both in transit and at rest is an important measure to protect user privacy.
  2. Tokenization: Tokenization is a process of replacing sensitive data with a randomly generated token that cannot be reversed back to the original data. This is an effective measure to protect user data if it is compromised.
  3. Access control: Granting only authorized users access to sensitive data is another important measure to help keep user data private.
  4. Data masking: Data masking transforms sensitive data into a non-sensitive format while still maintaining the original format and length, making it difficult for unauthorized users to view the original data.
  5. Data pseudonymization: Pseudonymization replaces identifying information in datasets with artificial identifiers, or pseudonyms, making it more difficult to link the dataset back to an individual user.

Setting Up a Privacy Framework at Your Organization

One way to do this is by following the principles of “privacy by design.” This means incorporating privacy into every step of the design process for products, services, and processes. It also requires considering privacy at every stage of development, from conception to implementation.

In order to set up a culture of privacy at your organization, here are a few things you can do:

  1. Educate yourself and your team on data privacy regulations. This will help you identify which regulations apply to your organization, and how to comply with them.
  2. Conduct a risk assessment to identify potential privacy risks. This will help you prioritize where to focus your efforts in terms of privacy protection.
  3. Implement security measures to protect personal data. These could include above mentioned encrypting data, using access control measures, as well as implementing physical security measures such as restricted areas.

How to Contact Us About Privacy by Design Solutions

If you are interested in more details on privacy by design and top solutions for your business, there are a few ways to get in touch with us and we will connect you with the best solution providers to help you.
You can either send us an email at dejan@nextitsecurity.com. We will be more than happy to discuss your specific needs and tailor a solution that will work best for you.

Conclusion

Privacy by design is about much more than just providing a safe and secure platform for users to use. It is about creating an environment in which privacy does not live only in a Policy, but is valued and respected. We must create systems that prioritize data protection, provide meaningful consent, facilitate access to personal information, and respect user decision on his/her data usage. As technology advances and personal data usage increases it’s important that organizations recognize the need for both security and privacy when designing and procuring for their products or services. Privacy by design provides necessary tools to ensure these objectives are met while protecting customer rights, reducing risk of breaches and pertaining regulatory fines, and ultimately assuring trust in your organization.

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