Privacy by Design for our Digital Age

Privacy by Design for our Digital Age

As Privacy Awareness Week 2024 builds momentum, led by, key organisations like the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner and Information and Privacy Commission NSW, we’re reminded of the pivotal role technology plays in helping us preserve and manage privacy.

This year’s theme, “Power Up Your Privacy,” encourages us to use technology to enhance our privacy practices across our organisations. But what does it mean to “power up” our privacy?

Let’s consider a common scenario.

Imagine Jane, who recently moved to a new city for a fresh start. Her old dental clinic, employing a secure system, sends out a letter reminding her to make a check-up appointment. The system ticks all the boxes—secure data collection, encrypted storage, and a verification process for printing and addressing communications. However, the letter is sent to her previous address. The new resident, curious or simply careless, opens the envelope, inadvertently gaining access to Jane’s sensitive medical information.

This incident underscores a crucial point: even the most robust technological solutions can falter if they are not integrated across the entire information handling process. Technology, no matter how advanced, is only effective within a network of equally secure and conscientious human and procedural interactions. Privacy by Design, a key principle in data protection, emphasises this interconnectedness. It advocates for privacy to be considered not just at the technology level but within that familiar relationship dynamic of technology, procedures, and people.

“Powering up” our privacy means not just acquiring and deploying cutting-edge technologies but rather using them to equip ourselves with the knowledge, skills, and strategies to implement privacy protections effectively. Our efforts should be about creating a culture where technological advancements work for us in implementing our privacy goals. The accountability will ultimately rest with us, not our computer systems.

During Privacy Awareness Week, let’s reflect on the role we play in the privacy ecosystem. Whether we are data custodians or individuals, we play a role in managing information using technology.

A timely privacy review or redesign helps us evaluate and identify how technology is best used to help us and how any gaps – large or small – are best addressed.

If you’re looking to pursue opportunities to integrate solid systems with robust processes and informed actions, connect with our management consulting team in the box below, and protect the rights of everyone.

Written by Darius Vitlin

Talk to an expert