On Thursday, January 28, the National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA) celebrated its annual Data Privacy Day event. We were joined by over 1,500 organizations and individuals from around the globe in an effort to generate awareness about the importance of data privacy and highlight ways to safeguard personal information.
This year, we strove to empower all individuals to “Own Your Privacy”, while urging businesses and organizations to “Respect Privacy”. Both themes reinforced NCSA’s focus on raising awareness about data privacy best practices through messaging, content and speaking engagements that will educate consumers about owning and controlling the data they generate, while advising businesses about the importance of respecting consumers’ privacy and keeping their personal information safe.
“The pandemic has ensured that people all over the globe are more connected now than ever before. Consumers are generating more personal data through the use of devices and the businesses that power that connectivity inevitably collect and store that same data,” said Kelvin Coleman, Executive Director, NCSA. “Data Privacy Day’s main objective is to be a yearly call-to-action; one that spurs discussion, reevaluation and awareness about how people can keep themselves and their data safe, and to show organizations that accountability, transparency, and a commitment to fair and legitimate data collection practices will ultimately lead to enhanced public trust and better brand reputation.”
At 12pm EST/9am PST, NCSA partnered with LinkedIn to present Data Privacy Day’s premier event: Data Privacy in an Era of Global Change, which explored privacy through the lens of the various changes we’ve faced in the past year. This event was made possible by support from sponsors: Discernible Inc, OneTrust, Yubico and Visa, as well as event partners: the Identity Theft Resource Center and ITSPmagazine.
After opening remarks from Kalinda Raina, Head of Privacy at LinkedIn, Kalinda joined U.S. Senator Marsha Blackburn and Kelvin Coleman for a discussion of the SAFE DATA Act, legislation to provide Americans with more choice and control over their data and direct businesses to be more transparent and accountable for their data practices.
This chat was followed by “Privacy and Poverty”, a discussion with privacy researchers Mary Madden and Michele Gilman. Mary and Michele shared insights into the vulnerabilities that low-income people face as a result of the collection and aggregation of big data and the application of predictive analytics.
This session was followed by an in-depth case study from Airbnb’s CPO, Brendon Lynch, on how privacy can enable key diversity and inclusion initiatives, using Airbnb’s initiative to prevent the targeting of users based on certain characteristics, such as race.
Next, Tami Dokken, Chief Data Privacy Officer at The World Bank explained how the World Bank is responding to the growing need for privacy regulations. In 2018, The World Bank introduced their first policy on personal data, recognizing that with the increased use of personal data and the increased regulations and expectations of individuals around the world, it was time to put into place a policy on data privacy.
NCSA then brought together a panel of industry experts to address “How COVID-19 Changed Data Privacy”. This session, moderated by Kelvin Coleman, included Melanie Ensign, Founder & CEO, Discernible Inc; Christopher Harrell, Chief Technology Officer, Yubico; Brian Philbrook, Lead Privacy Counsel, OneTrust and Lindsey Schultz, Counsel, Global Privacy, Visa. The group discussed how the privacy landscape has shifted during COVID-19, especially as it relates to teleworking, contact tracing efforts and vaccine tracking.
The Identity Theft Resource Center’s COO, James Lee, followed this session with a presentation of the recently released 2020 Data Breach Report. James walked the audience through the key findings, revealing that the number of data breaches have actually decreased, but are becoming much more targeted.
In the final session of the afternoon, Sean Martin, Editor in Chief of ITSPmagazine, talked to Rita Heimes, General Counsel and DPO, International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP) about “Creating a Culture of Privacy” within an organization. Rita described how, when done correctly, a privacy program can benefit your customers, employees and overall business, and reiterated why privacy education and awareness is so important for organizations.
Recordings of the full event can be viewed here: https://staysafeonline.org/resource/data-privacy-day-2021/
For several years, Data Privacy Day has been the signature event in a greater privacy awareness and education effort. Year-round, NCSA educates consumers on how they can own their online presence and shows organizations how privacy is good for business. However, NCSA recognizes that there is growing awareness of data privacy issues amongst individuals and organizations, and it seems only fitting that the Data Privacy Day celebration should grow as well. In 2022, NCSA will celebrate the first Data Privacy Week. New privacy laws, technologies and uses of data have expanded and complicated the world of privacy. It takes much more than a day to cover all these topics and help others truly understand their privacy rights and responsibilities better. We look forward to working with our partners on Data Privacy Week, leading up to January 2022.