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The Seven Principles of Privacy By Design

The Seven Principles of Privacy By Design

In today’s data driven world that continues to increasingly operate online, data privacy is simply not an option.

Whether it’s the growing list of compliance requirements from government and regulatory authorities, the risk of a data breach, or the vendor security questionnaire that could be the difference between making or breaking your company’s next big deal, it’s never been more important for businesses to prioritize data privacy.

While the best place to start is the beginning (we all know building on a solid foundation is ideal,) it’s never too late to start adjusting your perspective to one of Privacy by Design. 

Take an interactive, self-guided tour of our platform and discover how Carbide improves your security posture using Privacy-by-Design principles.

What is Privacy by Design?

Privacy by Design (PbD) is an approach to building technology and policies that aims to holistically embed privacy into the earliest phase of the development lifecycle. In short, when your team begins developing a new product, system, or process that involves handling personal information, privacy should be at the forefront of your plan and should be baked into the very design from day one.

In the 1990s, Ann Cavoukian, former Information and Privacy Commissioner for the Province of Ontario developed the Seven Principle of Privacy by Design to enable organizations to implement privacy into their technologies, practices, and procedures. Cavoukian’s seven principles continue to influence privacy regulations and frameworks around the world, shaping discussions about Privacy by Design then and to the present day.

The primary goal of PbD is protecting the privacy of individuals and service users. Concepts from Privacy by Design have also worked their way into data protection regulations across the globe, such as Article 25 in the GDPR about Data Protection by Design and Default.

How You Can Leverage the Seven Principles of Privacy by Design

Learn about the Seven Principles of Privacy by Design and how you can incorporate them into your company operations to optimize data protection for your business below.

1. Privacy is Proactive, Not Reactive

When dealing with a data breach, many companies tend to take a reactive approach by remediating damage only after an event occurs. Instead, your team should implement preventative and preparedness measures at the outset. Prevent a data breach from occurring in the first place is ideal, but we all know, there’s no such thing as perfect cybersecurity. So preparing your company to mitigate the damage caused by a breach with robust detection and response processes along with solid incident response and business continuity plans are essential. Implementing proactive PbD means being prepared for potential disasters before they occur by identifying potential threats and anticipating their occurrence to take appropriate action. 

2. Privacy as the Default Setting

The Global Privacy Standard Fair Information Practices inform the PbD framework’s approach to the default methods for Purpose Specification; Collection Limitation; Data Minimization; Use, Retention and Disclosure Limitation among others later discussed.

To be best aligned with data privacy best practices, your company’s default settings should limit data collection and retention to only the minimum necessary for intended purposes. Any personally identifiable information should only be retained for as long as needed to complete any intended tasks. If additional personal information is not essential for the intended purpose collected, scrub data sets to remove these data fields.

 By minimizing the amount of data stored, you reduce the risk of personal information theft and fraud.

3. Privacy Embedded into Design

Privacy should not be a function that is added after the fact; it should be embedded into the design and infrastructure of your systems and business practices. 

To have privacy embedded into the design of a project or system update means ensuring the proper privacy compliance safeguards are in place from the start. Be sure to make privacy impact assessments and risk assessments a part of your key objectives. They will help you to measure privacy and security risks and to mitigate any potential breaches of privacy.

4. Full Functionality – Positive-sum, not Zero-sum

Implementing Privacy by Design from the beginning of your project’s development lifecycle should help your team avoid unnecessary compromises between other systems and practices. It operates as a benefit and in concert with the systems with which it is embedded and should offer full functionality for both in a positive-sum environment. 

In short, security and privacy should exist and function at total capacity together in tandem without causing difficulty to their operations. 

5. End-to-End Protection – Lifecycle Security

The data your business candles must be protected throughout the lifecycle of its processing. This includes the collection, storage, retainment, use, and eventually disposal of personal information. According to Ann Cavoukian, the “Security” principle is fundamental because privacy cannot be guaranteed without solid security. The two principles included are:

  • Security: Responsibility for security over personal information.
  • Applied security: Measures, methods, and standards applied to assure continued CIA (confidentiality, integrity, and availability) of personal information. 

6. Visibility and Transparency

Demonstrate accountability for your business’s personal information processing activities. Organizations that handle data should do so according to the stated purposes and all relevant stakeholders are made fully aware of those purposes. Accessible and comprehensive policies and procedures are the best way to demonstrate visibility and transparency.

When transferring data between third parties, the proper measures of protection are adapted. Information about policies and procedures are made available with the Openness practice principle. Rectification measures are made available to strengthen the ability to adhere to compliance standards. When applying this principle, compliance with privacy policies and procedures is monitored, evaluated, and verified. 

7. Respect for User Privacy – Keep it User-Centric

The individual is at the forefront of all privacy-related concerns and decision-making. In keeping decisions focused on the user, the Privacy by Design framework aims to give users more control over what happens to their personal information. This should be done with respect for rights and notices, as well as through offering options that suit the needs of individual users. 

Consent is required from the individual before any data processing activities occur. All personal information must be kept accurate. Individuals have a right to access their information. They may challenge its accuracy and have it changed if necessary. 

Ann Cavoukian also proposed the need for “human-machine interfaces to be human-centered, user-centric and user friendly so that informed privacy decisions may be reliably exercised.”

As a framework that encourages privacy from the outset, Privacy by Design offers a guideline to embedding privacy into your enterprise goals while keeping two main objectives in mind: privacy as the default and keeping the user’s needs in focus.

Putting Privacy First with Carbide

The principles of Privacy by Design are an essential component to building, implementing, and maintaining a robust security program – but it’s not the only requirement of a mature security and privacy posture. Looking for more support in developing and optimizing your security and privacy compliance? Connect with a member of the Carbide team to learn about how we can accelerate your security journey.