Most of today’s world is driven by technology. This fact opens the door for invasive threats to rise in various aspects of our lives, both personal and professional. This type of attack, if not dealt with proactively, can lead to many different outcomes including identity theft and other potentially worse threats. The concern is brought to life because we have lost our basic right to privacy as a human species.  Big technology companies, once widely celebrated as innovators, are facing ever increasing backlash over how the data that they collect is being processed, stored, and utilized.

What’s the Problem?

Recently, social networking and the use of internet services, the cloud and mobile computing have led to an extensive innovation in the field of technology. By bringing data and information to the context of both personal and professional activities, the digital world has led a shift on how we manage and interact. Major concerns have begun to develop with our privacy as the rise of personal information that is both collected, processed and transferred is used in new ways that challenge existing laws and social norms.  We have all heard the saying, “If you’re not paying for it, you’re not the customer, you’re the product being sold.”  Does this lead you to explore the accurate definition of privacy, today?

What is Privacy?

Privacy is the ability of an individual or group to seclude themselves or information about themselves, and thereby express themselves selectively. When something is private to a person, it usually means that something is inherently special or sensitive to them.

Some explain that there is a state of privacy such as a state of intimacy or a state of anonymity while others say privacy is a norm to govern personal information. However you define the word, privacy in today’s world has to be protected.  Companies are looking for experts that can understand privacy risks to the business and help shape privacy protections based on company objectives.  Because the risks are ever changing, privacy experts must be able to demonstrate awareness of changes to privacy threats and what is required to address these risks in business appropriately.

How Can I Become a Privacy Technologist?

The best way to help organizations mitigate the privacy risks of tomorrow is to become a privacy technologist.  What is a privacy technologist?  The privacy role is one that requires leaders with accurate, timely and relevant information to protect the data privacy of employees, customers, contractors, vendors, and partners.  Privacy technologists will also build a solid privacy and governance program and demonstrate a privacy by design/privacy by default architecture for the business.  As a privacy expert you will be able to use your technology and skills to identify potential threats and violations and help the organization implement the proper measures of protection to avoid the risk of sensitive data.

Here are some privacy technologist tasks:
  • Building privacy-friendly products, services and processes by embedding data protection throughout every stage of development
  • Recognizing benefits and challenges of emerging technologies and how to use them while respecting customer privacy
  • Protecting data from various forms of interference
  • Designing software and systems to better ensure privacy
  • Establishing privacy practices for data security and control, such as minimization, limited access and encryption
  • Auditing infrastructure and communicating privacy issues with management, development, marketing and legal departments, and collaborating with them to produce solutions

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