In the rapidly evolving digital era, internet users have become increasingly aware of how their information is collected and used online. According to Norton LifeLock, 85% of adults want to do more to protect their online privacy. As consumers express concern and global regulations tighten, it is important to understand the premise of digital privacy and how to comply with it.
Data Privacy or Digital Privacy?
Despite similar names and concepts, there is a stark distinction between data privacy and digital privacy. Data privacy refers to when a company or website properly handles sensitive user information such as personal contacts, medical records, financial history, and intellectual property. Data privacy works to prevent unauthorized access to confidential information by governing how data is collected, used, and shared. This concept pertains to both the digital and non-digital realms.
On the other hand, digital privacy focuses specifically on protecting our own information that we knowingly or unknowingly share online. An astonishing 90% of the world’s data was generated in the last two years alone! Most of that information was created or provided by individuals while using the internet. Safeguarding this user data mitigates the risk of web-based attacks, further promoting a more secure and trustworthy cyberspace. Without maintaining digital privacy, bad actors could easily monitor online activities, such as conversations and transactions, leading to harmful interceptions and breaches.
The concepts of data privacy and digital privacy both exist to protect individuals and their private information. It is crucial for internet-based systems to satisfy the level of security required by each of these measures.
Engineering Digital Privacy for All
The responsibility of creating a technical framework that fosters digital privacy falls heavily on engineers. Concurrently, existing and emerging laws have brought big changes to the technical engineering landscape. Soon enough, digital privacy regulations will cover 75% of the world’s population.
By not paying close attention to these laws, companies could be risking data breaches, harsh financial penalties from violations, and jeopardizing their reputation within the industry.
Adapting to changing data regulations has resulted in the creation of the Privacy by Design concept, which incorporates the idea of including privacy in every aspect of the engineering and product development cycle. The emerging role of privacy engineer implements this concept, ensuring that data privacy considerations are integrated into the product design.
Gather the Tools to Operationalize Internet Privacy
Is your team up-to-date on the latest privacy technologies and ethics? Ensure the ultimate digital privacy and data protection for your organization.
Get ahead with the Protecting Privacy in the Digital Age course program, brought to you by IEEE Educational Activities in collaboration with IEEE Digital Privacy. This collection provides a better understanding of how to engineer privacy in our web systems, encompassing: laws and regulations, operational frameworks, trustworthy system design, and how to make it usable for end consumers. Learn more about this four-course program on the IEEE Learning Network.
For engineers and technology professionals tasked with protecting data privacy, the IEEE | IAPP Data Privacy Engineering Collection delivers critical training, resources, and content for understanding and maintaining privacy compliance.
(2022). 2022 Norton Cyber Safety Insights Report: Special Release— Online Creeping. Norton LifeLock.
(3 March 2021). What is Digital Privacy? Definition and Best Practices. Microanalytics.
What is Data Privacy? SNIA.
Privacy By Design. Deloitte.