Top Five Privacy Issues Organizations Must Tackle - Slide 5

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The value of privacy and the sensitivity of personal information are impossible to determine without context. Personal information has hardly any value or sensitivity. Rather, it depends on how data is being processed. There is no right or wrong. Finding the balance between "not enough" protection and "too much" protection is an ongoing process. Legal requirements are a bad guideline as they trail technical innovation and cultural change by several years.

Privacy officers should set up a process to identify stakeholders for personal information, gather requirements from them, influence the design of the business process and applications, and plan for adjustments. Once this process has been created, its execution should take the privacy officer no more than 10 percent of his or her time.

Data breaches, cloud computing, location-based services and regulatory changes will force virtually all organizations to review, and at least half of all organizations to also revise, their current privacy policies before year-end 2012, according to Gartner, Inc. These issues will dominate the privacy officer’s agenda for the next two years.

“In 2010, organizations saw new threats to personal data and privacy, while budgets for privacy protection remained under pressure,” said Carsten Casper, research director at Gartner. “Throughout 2011 and 2012, privacy programs will remain chronically underfunded, requiring privacy officers to build and maintain strong relationships with corporate counsel, lines of business, HR, IT security, IT operations and application development teams. An established relationship with regulatory authorities and the privacy advocacy community will also be an advantage to them.”

Gartner has identified the top five issues that privacy officers must pay particular attention to in 2011 and 2012.

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