EU regulators seek to mandate accountability
In the race to compete in today’s digital world, organizations are using social, mobile, big data and analytics, and the Internet of Things (IoT) to gather as much information on their customers as possible, while simultaneously trying to do everything possible to protect their organizations from cyber attacks that come from the outside and within. In this environment, privacy protection can become an afterthought, bolted on to information security programs in an ad hoc manner. Or worse case, organizations haven’t thought about privacy protection at all.
For years, regulators and privacy commissions around the world have attempted to legislate privacy protection and develop privacy standards, such as Privacy by Design (PbD) for organizations to adhere and adopt. However, even as regulators pushed accountability, many organizations saw it as more voluntary than mandatory. They were content to address the letter of the law outlined in the legislation as opposed to its spirit — to meet minimal compliance obligations without taking responsibility for their role in protecting their customers’ or employees’ information.
With the introduction of the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), and the implications for organizations across the globe, the days of organizations leaving the responsibility for privacy protection to someone else is about to end. The EU’s GDPR puts the onus of privacy protection where it should be — in the hands of the entities collecting, storing, analyzing and managing personally identifiable information.
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