It may surprise you, as it did me, to learn that today is Data Privacy Day, an “international celebration of the dignity of the individual expressed through personal information.” But Data Privacy Day also highlights the need for individuals to protect their data and how they can go about doing so.
There are many organizations out there that aim to help individuals protect their personal information and help businesses comply with data protection laws and regulations. The Online Trust Alliance is one such organization, whose mission is to create an online trust community, promoting business practices and technologies to enhance consumer trust globally. They recently released their “2011 Data Breach Incident Readiness Guide” to help businesses in breach prevention and incident management.
According to their newest guide, the true test for organizations and businesses should be the ability to answer key questions such as:
- Do you know what sensitive information is maintained by your company, where it is stored and how it is kept secure?
- Do you have an incident response team in place ready to respond 24/7?
- Are management teams aware of security, privacy and regulatory requirements related specifically to your business?
- Have you completed a privacy and security audit of all data collection activities, including cloud services, mobile devices and outsourced services?
- Are you prepared to communicate to customers, partners and stockholders in the event of a breach or data loss incident?
With the White House, members of Congress, Commerce Department and the FTC calling for greater privacy controls and breach notifications, self-regulation by businesses is becoming more and more important.
Google, one of the supporters of Data Privacy Day and the initiatives of The Privacy Projects, is hosting a public discussion on privacy later this afternoon with representatives from the Electronic Frontier Foundation, the FTC and the National Institute of Standards and Technology scheduled to attend. If you can’t stop by Google’s DC office for this event, don’t worry — it will be captured on video and posted to YouTube soon after.