Monday, May 15, 2017

Data Protection Coexisting with Consumer Privacy

Data privacy concern is a prevailing topic.  This piece, is the first part of a series that we will share that will address what clients wrestle with regarding their delivery and administration of technology for their own clients and their day-to-day operations.  Technology will continue to influence our daily lives.  With some of the benefits comes challenges.  The benefits allow more freedoms and increase efficiencies for the user and consumer.  The challenges are present for both the consumer and the operator administrator of the technological innovation.  The questions gnaw. Can the data be kept and transmitted safely? Can the data be kept private as required?  With the nuanced articles on the subject, these questions are what it should be the gravamen.  Can data be kept safe and can it be kept private as it is administered daily in the delivery of services?

This also is about having trust in the development and the reliability of systems, networks, programs, hardware, and the personnel administering them all; and by the way, trust on the combination of technological solution and integration to deliver the needed safety and ultimate privacy.  As such, the trust then has value.  Value in trust is to both the individual expecting privacy and to the entity responsible for maintaining safety and the privacy as it is a custodian of the data, especially as the data is augmented daily with users use of services. 

The trust element in innovation and administration of the technology to maintain data safe and private increases in importance as reliance on technology increases in society.  To address that growing reliance there needs to be a basis, a standard, or a measure by which regulators and the courts can decide when that basis, standard, or measure was not met.  Of course, that’s for litigation hit.  But it is also for pointing to a goal on how data protection will coexist with consumer privacy, as it is expected, though it is unsaid.

The idea that is counseled to entities that endeavor in this realm, as it applies to the purveyor of technology, administrator of cloud systems, data aggregators, network designer, source code writer, is that privacy is the end game buttressed by being accountable.  The end game of privacy is in the data maintained, transmitted, accessed, and delivered to the correctly identified and intended recipient.  Accountability is the ingredient in pursuit of new ways and programs developed that innovate into that coexistence of data protection and consumer privacy.  Accountability in that process is essential to meet with the reliance of consumer trust and confidence. This accountability should be based on checks and balances in the approach for the development, application, and delivery of daily data services.  This accountability, as well must be an organizational task instilled in management and throughout the organization down the service line.  As client addresses this issue they realize it’s their decision-making process that needs addressing as they focus on privacy of the data they are administering or the result of the program designed.  Their approach needs to surpass the short-sighted view of regulatory compliance.

The experience demonstrates that as clients find themselves needing to address their decision-making regarding privacy, data protection, consumer expectations and trust, their accountability, they realize that their culture is changed.  Policies then are the result of that cultural accountability way of thinking that emphasizes privacy.  Privacy programs within organizations will be seen to require levels of cooperation.  The internal aspect of the change should drive the entity to instill data governance, risk assessment, and needs evaluation.  The approach should be one of data governance that syncs legal, operations, contract management, information technology, and human resources, to name a few, together for the levels to see eye-to-eye on data protection and its relationship to consumer privacy and the consumers' trust component.
The relationship of data protection to data privacy is usually seen in application as the technological and administrative existence of the means by which digital information is operatively used, shared, described, analyzed, etc.  That focal point is more than just administering who has access and can anyone else be able to decipher the data in transmission amid networks.  The challenges to the necessary coexistence of data protection and consumer privacy are not for academic theorizing or esoteric concepts.   They are hard and force honest considerations to the applications and efforts to achieve the privacy and protection desired and expected.  Other issues will be discussed on the next piece.

Originally published March 8, 2017
Lorenzo Law Firm is “Working to Protect your Business, Ideas, and Property on the Web." Copyright 2017, all rights reserved Lorenzo Law Firm, P.A.

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