The Privacy Commissioner also has the power to audit, publish information about personal information handling practices in the public and private sector, conduct research into privacy issues and promote awareness and understanding of privacy issues by the public.
Northrup advised IT professionals in the US to draw a map through the fog now to avoid crashing into problems and penalties later.
The Obama administration just released its US Privacy Bill of Rights, which would grant individuals more control over how their information is collected and managed, and increase transparency in privacy policies.
Also, the FTC recently slapped Google and Facebook with penalties after users complained of privacy abuses; Google will now undergo 20 years of independent privacy audits, and Facebook may face similar chastisement from the FTC.
These incidents are just a few of the signs that security professionals need to amp up privacy projects before their organizations run afoul of current or future US data privacy laws.
Northrup suggested organizations take an inventory of every piece of personal information it collects, and note why it is collected and where it is stored.
This can be a daunting task, but many organizations already have some of the pieces in place as part of their compliance programs or DLP projects.
Any information that does not have a clear business purpose (and the marketing team’s desire to send email blasts to a million relative strangers does not count as a “business purpose”) should be deleted or stored only on an as needed, transient basis.
By taking steps toward greater transparency and giving users more control over how their information is used, organizations will be better prepared to navigate out of the fog.
Sean Brierley is a business journalist based in Hobart, Australia. Sean has a passion for financial markets and breaking news stories and loves writing about business news, stock market, and economic opinions that matters most to its audience. Sean spends a lot of time discovering and researching latest financial markets and industry news stories in order to make sure the latest and greatest stories are brought to you first on BigBoardNews.com.