Privacy is a major concern in the digital age, and businesses must take it seriously if they want to build and maintain trust with their customers. Two important concepts to consider for protecting privacy are Privacy by Design and Privacy by Default. This blog provides an overview of each concept, relevant privacy frameworks, examples, and steps to implement Privacy by Design and Default.
What is Privacy by Design?
Developed by Dr. Ann Cavoukian, the former Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario, Canada, in the late 1990s, Privacy by Design is a concept emphasizing the integration of privacy considerations into the design and development process of products, services, and systems. The goal is to ensure privacy is taken into account at every stage of any development process, from initial design to final deployment and beyond. Privacy by Design is a proactive implementation approach aimed at preventing privacy breaches rather than reacting to them after the fact.
What is Privacy by Default?
Privacy by Default is one of the seven foundational principles that directly support Privacy by Design. It refers to the practice of ensuring privacy settings are automatically set to the highest level of protection for users. The idea is that users shouldn’t have to take additional steps to protect their privacy. In other words, the default setting should be the most privacy-protective option available. This approach is a response to the default settings for many digital products and services, which often prioritize convenience or data collection over privacy protection.
Relevant Privacy Frameworks
Several privacy frameworks touch upon Privacy by Design and Default, including data privacy laws like the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and various state privacy laws in the United States. The GDPR requires companies to implement Privacy by Design and Default, meaning privacy protections must be built into products and services from the start. Similarly, some state privacy laws in the U.S., like the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), require companies to offer users the option to opt out of data collection and sharing by default.
Privacy by Default Examples
Some companies are starting to see the benefits of embracing Privacy by Default in their products and services. When Apple issued the iOS 14.5 update for their operating system, it included privacy features making it more difficult for apps to track users without their consent. The default settings for the apps are set to block tracking, requiring users to explicitly allow tracking for each app that requests it. Similarly, Privacy by Default is a core feature of DuckDuckGo, the privacy-focused search engine that ensures user searches are not tracked or stored.
How to Implement Privacy by Design and Default
Implementing Privacy by Design and Privacy by Default requires a comprehensive approach that integrates privacy considerations into the entire design and development process. Some steps to consider:
- Appoint a Privacy Officer or Privacy Team
- Conduct Privacy Impact Assessments
- Implement Privacy by Design and Default in all phases of product development
- Create and maintain data minimization and retention policies
- Conduct regular audits to ensure compliance
By following these best practices, businesses can integrate privacy into their products, services, and systems and ensure that privacy is protected throughout the entire lifecycle of their products.
Privacy by Design and Privacy by Default are essential concepts to use for protecting privacy in today’s digital age. Businesses can build customer trust while maintaining legal and regulatory compliance by integrating privacy considerations into the design and development process of products, services, and systems and ensuring that privacy settings are set to the highest level by default. Following the steps outlined above, businesses can take a proactive approach to privacy protection and avoid the reactive approach of simply addressing privacy breaches after they occur.