Getting Into a Privacy Identity Innovation (pii2012) Frame of Mind: Will We See You There?
As you all know, privacy is one of my favorite topics. And when you’re talking or blogging about privacy, it almost always comes back to personally identifiable information (pii) which just happens to be the focus of the Privacy Identify Innovation Conference that will be held in downtown Seattle, May 14-16 (otherwise known as pii2012). Natalie Fonseca (@TechPolicy) is the co-founder and executive producer of the conference (now on its “third edition”), and she has assembled a group of speakers and sessions that make privacy-geeks (like myself) giddy with anticipation:
“pii2012 Seattle will explore how to protect sensitive information while enabling new technologies and business models. The focus isn’t just on ensuring regulatory compliance. It’s about developing a forward-looking, strategic approach to avoiding risk while advancing innovation.”
The great thing about this conference is that the focus is on how businesses and organizations of all sizes can manage and protect users’ personal information through smart privacy policies and practices, earning user trust, and staying away from regulatory “troubles” or being cast as “the villain” in the media or the public eye. Terence and I have done many interviews on the topic of privacy when we launched “Privacy and Big Data” (small—what am I saying—large teaser here: an update is coming and we will reveal all in an upcoming post!) and a radio host once asked me what I knew for sure about privacy. This was my answer:
“What I know for sure is that every company or organization will experience privacy breaches—whether it is a stolen laptop with sensitive data on it, a data center security breach, or simply some feature or device, that through the law of unintended consequences, puts our personal data at risk. I also know that every individual will most likely experience some sort of theft of their information—known or unknown.”
Yes, there may be some privacy villains out there (and I have blogged about them) but for the most part, privacy breaches occur due to a lack of privacy policies and, of course, those processes that ensure those policies are adhered to. And even when we have rigorous processes in place, the law of unintended consequences can open up new avenues of privacy “risk.” This is why a conference like this is important as it brings together thought leaders and innovators to discuss how the latest technological developments may put our personal information at risk and what we, as businesses, organizations, and individuals, can do to mitigate that risk.
Terence and I will be attending and participating at the conference. Terence is a panelist on the “With Big Data Come Big Responsibility” panel that asks this question: How can we unlock the value in big data while avoiding the pii risks associated with it? I will be a panelist on “Brand Reputation: The Role of Privacy in Communications” panel that takes a look at how privacy could become a competitive advantage for those companies that understand their customers’ privacy issues and fears and develop policies and processes to alleviate them. I will also be moderating the “Protecting Civil Liberties in the Digital Age” panel which is a favorite topic of mine in this blog and on Twitter. We will also be a captive audience because the schedule is jam-packed with interesting sessions and participants steeped in “all things related to pii”—from collection and use, to the regulatory environment, to privacy by design, and lots of other stuff.
We hope to see you there, but if you can’t make it, be sure to follow #pii2012 on Twitter. After the conference, we will (along with many others I’m sure) be blogging about our experiences.