Share This Page

Protecting Privacy Is a Concern to Consumers and Good for Business

January 23, 2018 / Source: Bank News

January 23 — As the world becomes increasingly connected and the Internet of Things (IoT) continues to expand, consumers’ concerns about the hot-button issues of data security and privacy are deepening. A recent survey addressing what consumers really think about sharing their personal information indicates that 81 percent of Americans feel they have lost control over the way their personal data is collected.

The proliferation of connected devices coupled with consumer unease sends a clear message that in order to build trust, organizations must address privacy concerns, safeguard data and be open and honest about how personal information is collected, used and shared.

The National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA) is partnering with leaders in industry, government and the nonprofit sector to educate businesses about the importance of respecting privacy and protecting personal information. NCSA’s year-round privacy awareness initiatives culminate on Data Privacy Day ‒ held annually on Jan. 28 ‒ to stress to organizations that privacy is good for business and inform consumers about the value of their personal information.

Data Privacy Day, led by NCSA in the United States, is built on the theme, “Respecting Privacy, Safeguarding Data and Enabling Trust.” To generate awareness of the day and its importance, NCSA will host a timely event streamed live from LinkedIn in San Francisco, CA, on Thursday, Jan. 25. The event will showcase fast-paced, cutting-edge discussions and TED-style talks with leading experts focusing on what business and consumers must know about privacy. Topics will include “Looking into a Crystal Ball: What Your Data Says About You,” “Five Things You Can Do to Manage Your Privacy Now” and “Staying Competitive – Why Privacy is Good for Your Business.”

“Companies of all sizes and from all industries are continuously collecting enormous amounts of personal data. Consumers want to know how their personal information is collected and protected and with whom it is shared,” said Russ Schrader, NCSA’s executive director. “In fact, respecting privacy is not only a protective measure, but also a smart strategy for enabling consumer trust and enhancing reputation and growth.”

“Protecting data privacy is critical in today’s global digital economy. Every company must be able to demonstrate how it is protecting data privacy to earn the trust of customers, users, partners and employees. This takes a collaborative, risk-based data privacy practice that aligns with industry best practices, customer demands and regulatory requirements,” said Michelle Dennedy, vice president and chief privacy officer for Cisco.

With high-tech gadgets on our wrists, in our cars and in our kids’ toy chests, we are now faced with an even more complex environment in which to manage our privacy. The abundance of personal information collected by these devices can be stolen by bad actors or used in negative ways. Recent news stories about connected toys have shed light on the risks of data being collected and used in ways we might not expect or approve. It is vital that all companies be open and honest about how they collect, use and share personal information. In addition, businesses must be vigilant about security and respecting privacy. Whenever possible, parents and all consumers should try to understand how their information is collected, used and shared.

This Data Privacy Day, all businesses need to enable trust by respecting privacy and safeguarding data, especially as the world of IoT expands and consumer apprehension grows. Help your business be more thoughtful about what information is collected, protecting that data and fostering consumer trust with these tips:

If you collect it, protect it: Follow reasonable security measures to protect individuals’ personal information from inappropriate and unauthorized access.
Be open and honest about how you collect, use and share personal information: Clearly communicate your data use practices and any features or settings you offer to consumers to manage their privacy.
Don’t count on your privacy policy as your only tool to educate consumers about your privacy practices: Communicate clearly and often what privacy means to your organization and the steps you take to achieve and maintain consumer privacy and security.
Create a culture of privacy in your organization: Educate employees about their role in privacy, security and respecting and protecting the personal information of colleagues and customers.
In addition to your privacy practices, do your due diligence and monitor partners and vendors: You are also responsible for how they use and collect personal information.

Join the Greater Effort

NCSA encourages everyone to do their part to promote a culture of privacy. Here’s how you can get involved this Data Privacy Day and year-round:

Become a Data Privacy Day Champion: Individuals and companies can get involved and actively show their dedication to respecting privacy, safeguarding data and enabling trust. Champions receive a toolkit of privacy awareness materials that they can use to educate themselves, their colleagues and communities. Becoming a Champion is easy and does not require any financial support.
Join the conversation on social media: Using the hashtag #PrivacyAware, post on social media about why privacy is important to you and/or your organization. Download our memes, social media images and posts here.

Data Privacy Day Events

Data Privacy Day Twitter Chat

#ChatSTC Twitter Chat: Fostering a Culture of Privacy Awareness at Work, Wednesday, Jan. 24, 3 p.m. EST/noon PST: Data Privacy Day is a great time to think about how your business collects, stores, manages and uses personal information. Data about customers, vendors and/or employees may be valuable to your business – but the protection of that data and transparency of its use is something consumers highly value, too. In this Twitter chat, we’ll discuss the importance of safeguarding data at your organization, things to consider in protecting this information and how you can foster a culture of privacy awareness at all levels.
Data Privacy Day 2018: Event streamed live from LinkedIn in San Francisco, CA, Two live-stream segments: 10:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. PST and 1:00 p.m. – 2:35 p.m. PST
International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP): IAPP is Privacy After Hours. Privacy After Hours is coming to a city near you! In recognition of Data Privacy Day, the IAPP sponsors events around the world for anyone interested in privacy ‒ IAPP member or not. Visit this website for a full listing and register today! Don’t see your city? Volunteer to host!
Visit our website to learn more about events taking place in support of Data Privacy Day.

Data Privacy Day Resources

Data Privacy Day 2018 Media Backgrounder: NCSA’s Data Privacy Day Backgrounder is a “must-have” primer. It’s packed with information about the day’s history, the latest on consumer and business privacy concerns, fast facts, recent research stats, resources, events and – most importantly – how to get involved.
How to Get Involved in Data Privacy Day Infographic
Are Your Doing Enough to Protect Your Consumers’ Data? Infographic
Five Ways to Help Employees To Be #PrivacyAware
Privacy is Good for Business Tip Sheet
STOP. THINK. CONNECT.™ Tips and Advice: Practice good online safety habits for you and your organization by following these tips and advice from STOP. THINK. CONNECT.™, the global online safety education and awareness campaign.
CyberSecure My Business™ is a comprehensive national program comprised of interactive training based on the National Institute of Standards and Technology Cybersecurity Framework, webinars and web resources to help businesses be resistant to and resilient from cyberattacks.
Cisco Trust Center: Learn how Cisco is protecting and respecting customer data and privacy.
Privacy Sigma Riders Podcast Series: Essential listening for anyone interested in cybersecurity, data protection and privacy hosted by Cisco Chief Privacy Officer Michelle Dennedy and team. Guest experts and innovators explore increasing the value of data with novel approaches to data privacy.
ForgeRock: As we move into the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) era, it is more important than ever to be able to engage customers in the protection of their data – this includes clarifying and enforcing consent, privacy protections and incident management capabilities to ensure that customers are active partners in the data relationship. In this webinar you will gain an understanding of the four pillars of privacy and consent; learn what obligations data breach reporting, EU GDPR and other regulations place on companies globally; and learn how to develop secure and effective privacy policies – and communicate them to your customers throughout your digital transformation.
EDUCAUSE: EDUCAUSE provides free activities and resources to help the higher education community promote privacy awareness to students, faculty and staff. Read the latest EDUCAUSE Review blog post on protecting personal information, “Privacy Is Our Shared Responsibility.”
Federal Trade Commission (FTC): The FTC has created a webpage that has advice to help small business owners protect not only the networks and systems that are the backbone of their business, but also their employees’ and customers’ sensitive data. The website also includes videos that show steps small business owners can take to ensure their businesses have secure networks.

FTC Resources for Small Businesses:
Start with Security: how businesses can protect their computers and networks against threats
Order free publications from the FTC and share them with your employees

Health Information Management Systems Society (HIMSS): Bits and bytes of our data are everywhere. How we think about privacy and how we achieve privacy have changed with the evolution of IT and connectivity. Information cannot be private unless it is also secure in the technical, administrative and physical realms. Visit to learn good information about privacy and security practices in health care.