I recently appeared on the front page of the Ottawa Citizen newspaper with an alarming prediction. “World is losing grip on privacy says watchdog – Next decade will be crucial in protecting privacy” rang out the headline.
I was speaking at the International Conference on Privacy, Security and Trust at the University of Ottawa, and my message was that we need to reframe and look at privacy through a new lens, if we expect to enjoy privacy as we know it, into the next decade.
In my two decades as a privacy professional, I would say that the biggest impact on how we think about privacy has come from the explosive growth of information and communications technologies – more specifically, the rise of online social networking and the growing reliance on wireless transmission and mobile devices such as laptops, cell phones, PDA’s and USB keys. The IT revolution not only brought about a myriad of advancements, resulting in everyday benefits to society, but it also gave birth to an entirely new catalogue of privacy concerns.
The future of privacy will require a paradigm shift: Compliance with laws and regulations alone will no longer ensure our privacy – and I say this as a Regulator reliant on such laws! For some time now, I have consistently advocated for a Privacy by Design approach, whereby privacy is embedded directly into the design of a technology or business practice – as the default. Privacy by Design (PbD), the concept I developed back in the ’90s, shatters the dated zero-sum paradigm which trades off privacy in favour of security, or some other functionality. Privacy by Design is doubly-enabling in its positive-sum nature (“win-win”), demonstrating that it is indeed possible to protect privacy, without compromising other legitimate operational requirements.
I believe that education and awareness about the privacy implications of new technologies and the need to address those issues in a proactive, positive-sum manner is absolutely critical. That is why I have appointed the inaugural group of Privacy by Design Ambassadors. I have created the Ambassadors program to publicly acknowledge the efforts made by individuals and organizations to implement the strongest protection of privacy through PbD.
Those named as Individual PbD Ambassadors are notable for their consistent efforts to educate organizations about the need to build privacy directly into their technologies and business practices. Organizational PbD Ambassadors are businesses or public sector organizations that have embedded PbD principles into their day-to-day operations. Recognizing that decisions made anywhere in the world can have an impact on the privacy of Ontarians, I have chosen to acknowledge an international collection of PbD Ambassadors, whose efforts to protect privacy will have an impact far beyond their shores.
Among the 27 people appointed as Individual PbD Ambassadors are:
- Larry Keating – President and CEO of No Panic Computing, for his long-term commitment to PbD as an Ontario business leader, speaker and author;
- Dr. Karl Martin – President of KMKP Engineering, who has presented his privacy-enhancing technology, Secure Visual Object Coding, at two of the Commissioner’s PbD Challenge events;
- Nandini Jolly – President, CEO and Co-Founder of CryptoMill Technologies, which features data storage systems that help their customers practice PbD.;
- Peter Hustinx – European Data Protection Supervisor and key proponent of embedding the concept of PbD into emerging European privacy legislation.
Canada Health Infoway (CHI) has been appointed an Organizational PbD Ambassador, joining privacy and data protection research firm Nymity in that category. CHI is a federal non-profit organization, whose primary role is to invest in projects that accelerate the development and adoption of Electronic Health Records (EHRs). By insisting on default privacy protection as a condition of investment – CHI has made tangible contributions to advancing the practice of Privacy by Design.
The complete list of PbD Ambassadors, as well as nomination guidelines, may be found at our Privacy by Design website, www.privacybydesign.ca.