100 organisations express interest in moving Privacy by Design from rhetoric to reality

Privacy Laws & Business’s workshop Privacy by Design: From Rhetoric to Reality, gathered together in London yesterday more than 100 representatives of businesses, law firms, government agencies and academia who were keen to learn how to introduce Privacy by Design projects in their organisations.

Privacy by Design (PbD) has moved rapidly from the concept stage towards being a reality for UK organisations with the inclusion of 'data protection by design and by default' in the European Union Data Protection draft Regulation published in January this year.

Dr Ann Cavoukian, Information and Privacy Commissioner, Ontario, spoke at yesterday’s event, hosted by Linklaters LLP, about PbD, a concept she and her office has developed since the 1990s.

Jonathan Bamford, Head of Strategic Liaison at the Information Commissioner's Office, set the legislative context saying that Privacy by Design was now moving into the mainstream.

"What is interesting is that we are now seeing a regulatory push behind concepts like Privacy by Design. So we are moving away from anyone thinking this is just for the virtuous to this is for everybody - this is the law." He added that minimising information risk was a win for customers and businesses alike. "It is important that we take forward Privacy by Design not as something that is imposed on you, but something that is a really sensible thing to do," he said.

"Privacy by Design is real, it's here now and we can give you examples," Dr Cavoukian said. She said with the pace of technological change, regulation alone could not protect privacy.

"Regulatory compliance is very important. But generally speaking it offers systems of redress after a harm has arisen and people come to us, we investigate and then offer some form of remediation. That is simply not going to be enough in the future and that is one of the reasons that Privacy by Design has been embraced."