Today, one of the world’s leading privacy regulators, scholars and advocates, the Information Privacy Commissioner of Ontario, Canada, Dr. Ann Cavoukian, published a groundbreaking report about the personal data ecosystem, a sector of companies that includes Personal and helps individuals control and directly benefit from the increasing amount of data being created about them and their lives.
Entitled Privacy by Design and the Emerging Personal Data Ecosystem and including a foreword by Personal CEO Shane Green, the paper describes the tremendous opportunities and benefits of giving people true control over their information in the digital world. Commissioner Cavoukian highlights personal information as a new asset class and rightly concludes that companies in the personal data sector must adopt privacy by design principles if they are truly going to be user-centerd and user-driven. Politico has dubbed the report “one privacy paper to read this week”.
The paper represents a major contribution to the intellectual foundation of our sector and highlights Personal in a case study for successfully embedding privacy by design into our technology, business and legal framework and practices.
The messenger and the message could not be more perfectly matched. Commissioner Cavoukian originally coined “privacy by design” and its principles, which have been approved as a framework for privacy protection by regulators worldwide, including the U.S. Federal Trade Commission, which recommended in its March 2012 report on consumer privacy that businesses build privacy by design into every stage of product development.
At Personal, privacy by design is central to our platform, company and culture, and we think the kind of user-centric model taking shape in the personal data ecosystem will become the norm. We’re not alone in believing this. Consider, for example, the World Economic Forum’s May 2012 report.
Importantly, the goal of Personal’s model is not to stop the flow of data or to have it held closely for privacy’s sake. Instead, with the right privacy protections and tools for individuals to properly leverage their information, we think even more data will flow, enhancing and enriching a person’s relationships with other people, organizations and apps.
We congratulate Commissioner Cavoukian on this white paper, and are proud to stand alongside others in it, including Mydex, Reputation.com, the Respect Network, SWIFT’s Digital Asset Grid project, Ctrl-Shift and the Personal Data Ecosystem Consortium.