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There was an interesting roundtable discussion at Okta's Oktane19 user conference. The discussion, "Protecting Privacy in an Identity-Centric World," was moderated by Joseph Menn, Investigative Journalist, Reuters and included Jon Callas, Senior Technology Fellow, ACLU, Sara-Jayne Terp, Data Scientist, Bodacea Light Industries, Marc Rogers, Executive Director, Cybersecurity Strategy, Okta, and Kurt Opsahl, Deputy Executive Director and General Counsel, Electronic Frontier Foundation.
Here's a link to the video of the discussion.
Here are my key takeaways from the roundtable:
There is so much data that's already being held about you and more being collected every day so that privacy is just becoming increasingly complicated. People are able to go back and look at bicycle data to learn who has been hooking up with who.
We are probably unable to stop the amount of data collection in an effective manner, so we need to use tools to ensure it causes less harm.
The security and information landscape is constantly evolving, but we need to keep in mind the Fourth Amendment and respect fundamental human rights for privacy and autonomy.
We need to think about the data a car collects today and how to wipe that data before the car goes to another owner or the junkyard. Likewise, if your smart lightbulbs contain your wireless password, how do you delete it before you throw the lightbulbs away?
Technology companies and developers need global privacy and security regulations. When a lot of different countries come up with slightly different regulations, it becomes impossible to roll out technology that goes across numerous geographies and this hurts the software's ability to deliver economies of scale.
The most secure you can be with data is to not have it. While it may be less expensive for companies to store data than ever before, the potential liability of having all that is growing precipitously.
Done correctly, data stewardship will save money by reducing risk and operational overhead. By understanding what data is collected, and where it is stored, you are better able to manage it.
We're beginning to see companies competing on the basis of privacy and data stewardship. That's good to see because it's better than regulations which take years to get resolved and are unable to anticipate the inevitable market changes.
With more education, more consumers will vote with their feet and wallets.
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