This Saturday is Data Privacy Day. If you asked 5 people what “data privacy” is about, you might get 5 answers.

A chief security officer may be thinking about breaches and how to prevent data theft.

A chief privacy officer like myself might be thinking about policy. How do we set up guidelines for the uses of data that everyone can understand and respect?

On Thursday, Jan. 26, I’ll join a variety of privacy professionals in panel discussions to support the National Cyber Security Alliance. We’ll cover topics ranging from “How to read a privacy policy in less than 60 seconds” to privacy and wearables. You can register to watch live-streaming here.

I’ll be part of a panel on the Internet of Things. Here’s a preview of some points I’ll be making:

  • The world is generating information (data) at a staggering pace.  As connected devices become more widespread, from cars to homes to factories, this will only increase.
  • Data collection, and the responsible use of that data, can be terrific for everyone. IoT is revolutionizing business, health, transportation and more.
  • Our job is to help protect our customers’ privacy while giving them the benefits of innovative IoT services.
  • But the “things” in Internet of Things are not all the same. A cargo tracking system doesn’t capture consumer information. But a home security and automation service or a health wearable does. As we develop policies and practices to keep pace with the IoT explosion, we should base privacy protections on the sensitivity of the information. This aligns the use of the data with consumer expectations.
  • It may not sound flashy to “develop industry best practices” or “consult multiple stakeholders,” but these are proven ways to develop good privacy solutions. For example, automakers have developed consumer privacy principles on connected cars, and the Future of Privacy Forum has developed best practices for wearables and health apps. Even for drones, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration developed a set of voluntary privacy principles.
  • For us all to excel at IoT, and for individual companies to succeed, the key is trust. Customers must trust the players to be transparent and responsible in their use and sharing of data.  These practices should not surprise the user.

Data Privacy Day is a good time to reflect on the progress we’ve made and our ongoing commitment to privacy. The live-stream runs from 11 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. PT on Livestream, Periscope and Facebook Live. Other topics include 10 things for startups to know about privacy, and ways to fight back against scams and fraud. Speakers and agenda are included here with registration.

Senior Vice President – Assistant General Counsel & Chief Privacy Officer 

Lori Fink
Lori Fink Senior Vice President – Assistant General Counsel & Chief Privacy Officer