Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Privacy Engineering

Over the last year I've been working with colleagues from government and industry on an introductory guide to engineering privacy-protective systems. You can now read the results of our efforts in the Cybersecurity Knowledge Transfer Network's Privacy Engineering Whitepaper:

A stronger legal and regulatory environment, high profile privacy failures, and increasing public concerns build the case for enterprises to take privacy seriously. For those new to the subject, this paper describes the harms that privacy failures can lead to, and the reasons why privacy issues must be addressed. Harm may happen to individuals, to organisations, or to society as a whole, and enterprises should address the effects on all of these when contemplating new information systems. Leadership is essential if concern for privacy is to be embedded throughout an organisation’s culture, processes and systems.

For those attempting to design privacy in to their systems, this paper provides guidance on the issues that must be addressed. The range of issues is broad, and we can only scratch the surface here. More work is needed to develop the detail, and we hope this paper will inspire that development. But the breadth and complexity of the issues also emphasises the need to develop skills and ethics within a profession of privacy practitioners.

Finally, this paper offers three clear conclusions about the nature of privacy issues, who is responsible, and how the threat of breaches can be vastly reduced by taking swift and appropriate measures.

1 comment:

Thomas said...

Ian,
Looking forward to reading this. Would be interested to catch up with you on privacy and tech issues. PhD is moving forward, if slowly and it seems as if we are working on similar things.
Thomas