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Data Privacy Day Reminds Organizations That Protecting Customers’ Privacy is Critical to Their Business

National Cyber Security Alliance Encourages Businesses to Respect Privacy, Safeguard Data and Enable Trust

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Washington, D.C., Jan. 24, 2017 – In an increasingly connected world – with a growing Internet of Things (IoT) and ever-evolving cyber threats – consumers are paying attention to their privacy and the security of their data. In a recent NCSA online shopping survey, 74 percent of consumers indicated that it was “important” or “extremely important” that websites have easy-to-understand information about how personal data is collected and used and with whom it is shared. In fact, more than a quarter of shoppers had abandoned purchases in the last year because of privacy or security concerns – a clear indication that businesses and other organizations must address consumers’ privacy concerns, safeguard information and be clear about their data practices in order to build trust. 

The National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA) is partnering with leaders in industry, government and the nonprofit sector to educate businesses about the importance of privacy and protecting personal information. NCSA’s year-round privacy awareness campaign culminates in Data Privacy Day, an international event held annually on Jan. 28 to teach consumers about owning their online presence and show organizations how privacy is good for business.

Data Privacy Day 2017 will be recognized on Thursday, Jan. 26, with a daylong event live from Twitter’s headquarters in San Francisco, CA, featuring exciting TED-style talks, segments and interviews focusing on the latest privacy issues for consumers and business. The event will be available online for the world to watch on Livestream, Periscope and Facebook Live. Not-to-be-missed segments include: Scams, ID Theft and Fraud, Oh My – And Ways to Fight Back; How to Read a Privacy Policy in Less than 60 Seconds – Even If It Was Written For a Lawyer; and Privacy and the Next President. Learn more and register to watch the event live here.

“Protecting our users and creating a positive and trusted online environment is paramount to Twitter. Online safety is a priority for us and for this reason we support Data Privacy Day, and we are proud to partner with the National Cyber Security Alliance (@StaySafeOnline) on today's activities,” said Patricia Cartes, Head of Global Trust & Safety Outreach, Public Policy at Twitter.

“Whenever businesses have information entrusted to them, they are ultimately responsible for protecting it,” said Michael Kaiser, NCSA’s executive director. “No matter how your organization is using personal information, it’s important to have good data security, because losing personal data is a privacy violation.”

Despite consumers’ desire to manage their privacy, many are unsure about how their information is used by companies, government and other organizations. For example, 47 percent of respondents in a recent Pew survey said they were not confident they understood how their information would be used. Additionally, while making decisions about what information to share with companies, many consumers reported feeling the following ways in the last month:

  • Confused by the information provided in a privacy policy (38%)
  • Discouraged by the amount of effort needed to understand what would be done with their data (35%)
  • Impatient because they wanted to learn more but needed to make a decision right away (29%)

“As high-tech offerings like connected cars, smart thermostats and wearables become more prevalent, consumers are going to pay more attention to privacy. So, the clearer businesses can be about their data protection practices, along with the options they provide for consumers to safeguard their personal information, the better,” said Kaiser. “Consumers may be confused about how having their information collected can improve the function of a service or device. For example, a GPS app or car pickup service won’t work without your location, and a fitness tracker uses information about your physical activity to help you measure progress. If your organization can better explain that certain collected data will basically make their devices function to better serve the user, you’ll be helping consumers be more educated, empowered and privacy-savvy.”

“Privacy is a basic human right, and as such businesses should treat customer and employee data appropriately,” stated Michelle Dennedy, Chief Privacy Officer at Cisco. “Respectful privacy practices and organizational transparency about your intentions and oversight of data will go a long way toward building customer trust and brand loyalty. At Cisco, we see the opportunity for privacy and security, if done well, to combine and create great value – through both systematic engineering and privacy policies that advance enterprise goals while respecting government regulations and the basic human right to privacy. Events like Data Privacy Day are critical to raising awareness and fostering open dialog on this vital issue.”

“In today’s hyper-connected world, protecting our identities is one of the most important challenges facing all businesses and consumers,” said Tony Aquila, Solera’s Founder, Chairman and CEO. “And nothing has dominated the conversation more than the rapidly evolving world of connected cars where, unlike phones or laptops, access to personal information lacks secure user authentication protocols. The rate of speed at which vehicles are transforming into self-thinking and self-driving machines that may be vulnerable to malicious hackers presents one of the greatest threats we must safeguard against in the interest of data privacy and identity protection.”

“Respecting Privacy, Safeguarding Data and Enabling Trust” is the theme for 2017 Data Privacy Day. NCSA encourages all organizations to think more about how these concepts are intertwined, especially as the world of IoT grows. Help your business be more thoughtful about what information is collected, protecting that data and fostering trust with these tips:

  • If you collect it, protect it: Follow reasonable security measures to protect individuals’ personal information from inappropriate and unauthorized access.
  • Be open and honest about how you collect, use and share personal information: Clearly communicate your data use practices and any features or settings you offer to consumers to manage their privacy.
  • Don’t count on your privacy policy as your only tool to educate consumers about your privacy practices: Communicate clearly and often what privacy means to your organization and the steps you take to achieve and maintain consumer privacy and security.
  • Create a culture of privacy in your organization: Educate employees about their role in privacy, security and respecting and protecting the personal information of colleagues and customers.
  • In addition to your privacy practices, do your due diligence and monitor partners and vendors: You are also responsible for how they use and collect personal information. 

Join the Greater Effort

NCSA encourages everyone to do their part to promote a culture of privacy awareness. Here’s how you can get involved this Data Privacy Day and year-round:

  • Become a Data Privacy Day Champion: Organizations and individuals can get involved and actively show their dedication to respecting privacy, safeguarding data and enabling trust. Champions receive a toolkit of privacy awareness materials that they can use to educate themselves and their families, colleagues, employees and communities. Becoming a Champion is easy and does not require any financial support.
  • Join the conversation on social media: Using the hashtag #PrivacyAware, post on social media about why privacy is important to you and/or your organization. Download our memes, social media images and posts here.

Data Privacy Day Events

  • #ChatSTC Twitter Chat: Being #PrivacyAware is Good for Business, Wednesday, Jan. 25, 3 p.m. EST/12 p.m. PST: This #ChatSTC Twitter chat will help you understand how privacy is good for business and the steps your organization can take to respect privacy, safeguard data and enable trust.
  • Data Privacy Day – Privacy Program Fundamentals (Webinar), Wednesday, Jan. 25, 1-3 p.m. EST/10 a.m. – 12 p.m. PST: Privacy Ref is celebrating Data Privacy Day by offering a free two-hour course on privacy basics. This session will cover how to define privacy, developing a privacy program, consenting to data processing and more. Normally this course is $250, but to ring in the New Year, it is available to you for free. Sign up today to reserve your spot as space is limited.
  • Computers, Privacy & Data Protection Conference: The Age of Intelligent Machines, Jan. 25 - 27,
    Computers, Privacy & Data Protection (CPDP) is an annual three-day conference convened in Brussels devoted to privacy and data protection. The conference brings together academics, lawyers, practitioners, policy-makers, industry and civil society from all over the world, offering them an arena to exchange ideas and discuss the latest emerging issues and trends. David Hoffman, Associate General Counsel and Global Privacy Officer of Intel – an NCSA board member company – will moderate The Right to Obscurity: Implementing the Google-Spain Decision panel on Jan. 25 at 10:30 a.m. CET. Panelists include Isabelle Falque-Pierrotin, Chairman of CNIL, Peter Fleischer, Global Privacy Counsel of Google, and Artemi Rallo, former Director of the Spanish Data Protection Agency. Learn more and register here
  • EDUCAUSE Live! Webinar, Thursday, Jan. 26, 1-2 p.m. EST/10-11 a.m. PST: Big data is all the rage. Save the date for an EDUCAUSE Data Privacy Day webinar with Cindy Compert, chief technology officer of data privacy at IBM Security. This talk will focus on privacy practices for big data use and how to navigate data utility while still protecting privacy. Learn more at www.educause.edu/dpd.
  • Data Privacy Day Panel Discussion, Friday, Jan. 27, 7:30-9:30 a.m. (PST): Join privacy and security experts from ESET, Morrison & Foerster and the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse for a stimulating and educational Data Privacy Day panel discussion at Morrison & Foerster LLP in San Diego, CA. Learn more and register for the event here.   

Privacy Resources

  • Data Privacy Day 2017 Backgrounder: NCSA’s Data Privacy Day Backgrounder is a “must-have” primer. It’s packed with information about the day’s history, the latest on consumer and business privacy concerns, fast facts and recent research stats, resources, events and – most important – how to get involved.
  • Infographic – Privacy is Good for Business: Personal information may be valuable to your business, but it’s also something your customers value. Consider taking these actions to create a culture of respecting privacy, safeguarding data and enabling trust in your organization.
  • NCSA and SBA Small Business Resources: NCSA is proud to be a member of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Small Business Tech Coalition, committed to helping small businesses leverage technology as a core driver of growth and differentiation.
  • STOP. THINK. CONNECT.™ Tips and Advice: Practice good online safety habits for you and your organization by following these tips and advice from STOP. THINK. CONNECT.™, the global online safety education and awareness campaign.
  • NCSA’s Privacy is Good for Business infographic will help to create a culture of respecting privacy, safeguarding data and enabling trust in your organization. 
  • NCSA’s 5 Ways to Help Employees be #PrivacyAware advice sheet shares practical tips for maintaining good privacy practices in the workplace.
  • Cisco: Privacy is a Basic Human Right…and Good for Business, Too: We love to share and communicate aspects of ourselves with others, but we also want to maintain our privacy. Learn what enterprises can do to create an environment where security and privacy can combine to create value for organizations.
  • Solera: Ten tips to protect privacy online.
  • Twitter: Twitter's Safety Center is a resource for anyone to learn about online safety. This resource is a result of Twitter's work with online safety experts who continuously help us to promote good digital citizenship. The Safety Center is organized around Twitter’s tools and policies, with sections created especially for teens, parents and educators.
  • ForgeRock: Insights and Info that Businesses Need to Know: The fast-growing Internet of Things and changing regulations in the US and Europe are driving organizations across multiple industry sectors to seek out new ways to protect consumer data privacy, and stay in compliance. Read the report from ForgeRock.
  • EDUCAUSE: EDUCAUSE provides free activities and resources to help the higher education community promote privacy awareness to students, faculty and staff. Read the latest EDUCAUSE Review blog post on privacy, “Keep What’s Private, Private.” 
  • Federal Trade Commission (FTC): The FTC’s 50+ data security settlements offer guidance for businesses on how to keep sensitive information safer. Start with Security synthesizes those cases into 10 practical lessons adaptable to companies of any size and in any sector.
  • Health Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS): Everyone is a privacy champion!  Good privacy practices matter – everyone can do his or her part to help keep information private and safe. To learn more, visit himss.org/dpd.
  • HIMSS: Protecting Patient Privacy Infographic.  Protecting patient privacy matters. Find out what your organization and workforce members can do to help protect patient privacy in this infographic.
  • International Association of Privacy Professionals: Don't have a big staff or budget with which to tackle privacy? No worries, the International Association of Privacy Professionals has you covered. This group of resources for small and medium-sized businesses will get you up and running in no time.

About Data Privacy Day

The National Cyber Security Alliance’s (NCSA) privacy awareness campaign is an integral component of STOP. THINK. CONNECT.TM ‒ the global online safety, security and privacy campaign. Data Privacy Day is the signature event for the campaign and is officially organized by NCSA in North America. Data Privacy Day began in the United States and Canada in January 2008 as an extension of the Data Protection Day celebration in Europe. Cisco, Intel, Solera Holdings and Twitter are Leading Sponsors of the 2017 privacy awareness campaign. ForgeRock and LifeLock, Inc. are Contributing Sponsors. Privacy Ref is a Supporting Sponsor. The hashtag for NCSA’s privacy campaign efforts is #PrivacyAware. 

About the National Cyber Security Alliance

The National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA) is the nation's leading nonprofit, public-private partnership promoting cybersecurity and privacy education and awareness. NCSA works with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and NCSA's Board of Directors, which includes representatives from ADP; AT&T Services, Inc.; Bank of America; Barclays; BlackBerry Corporation; CDK Global, LLC; Cisco; Comcast Corporation; ESET North America; Facebook; Google; Intel Corporation; LifeLock, Inc, Logical Operations; Mastercard; Microsoft Corp.; NXP Semiconductors; PayPal; PKWARE; Raytheon; RSA, the Security Division of EMC; Salesforce; SANS Institute; Symantec and Visa Inc. NCSA’s core efforts include National Cyber Security Awareness Month (October); Data Privacy Day (January 28) and STOP. THINK. CONNECT.™, the global online safety awareness and education campaign cofounded by NCSA and the Anti Phishing Working Group, with federal government leadership from DHS. For more information on NCSA, please visit staysafeonline.org/about-us/overview/.  




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