You Can Have It All: Privacy Embedded Into Innovation Will Achieve Big Data Success!

TORONTO, June 10, 2014 /CNW/ - Moving organizations forward by using Big Data analytics to unlock new insights and protect personal information in tandem is achievable by taking a proactive approach — by implementing the principles of Privacy by Design, neither innovation nor privacy need be sacrificed!

In order to demonstrate the successful deployment of privacy-protective Big Data strategies, Ontario's Information and Privacy Commissioner, Dr. Ann Cavoukian, and Deloitte experts, Beth Dewitt, Manager and Privacy Specialist, and David Stewart, National Advanced Analytics Leader, have jointly released a new white paper, "Achieving Big Data Innovation Without Compromising Privacy".

Through careful planning and the application of Privacy by Design principles, a doubly-enabling "win-win" solution may be realized — demonstrating that privacy can serve as an inspiration for innovation. As data analytics advance and the vastness of datasets grow, so does the risk of new linkages between seemingly non-identifiable information, which may enable data processors to identify individuals, revealing their lifestyles, consumer habits and much more. This increased ability to gather personal information has led to suggestions that our notions of privacy must change in a Big Data world.  This paper asserts that these suggestions reflect an outdated, zero-sum way of thinking — sacrificing one interest (innovation) for another (privacy); a positive-sum solution is not only achievable, but necessary to build consumer trust into innovative technologies.

This white paper features case studies from Deloitte clients and explores three key strategies for Big Data deployment:

  • Data Minimization: an approach which eliminates the privacy risk at the earliest stage of the data lifecycle.
  • De-identification: a method of stripping the dataset of all information which could be used to identify individuals.
  • User Access Controls: a process of granting or denying specific requests, to obtain and use information, as directed by the user.


"We do not have to sacrifice privacy or shackle innovation for the sake of Big Data analytics," said Commissioner Cavoukian. "Through careful planning and the application of privacy techniques, such as those embodied in Privacy by Design, organizations can use data for its desired effects, while at the same time protecting the personal information contained in the data. It is indeed possible to have both Big Data and Big Privacy."

"Today, what people used to keep private - friends, vacation plans, favourite restaurants and brands - has become very public. At the same time, the Big Brother-like ability to track, store and analyze this data has grown exponentially. Organizations must strike a balance between customers' and employee's willingness to provide data and their privacy concerns and needs," says David Stewart, National Advanced Analytics Leader at Deloitte. "In this paper we help companies understand, identify and mitigate the risks associated with embarking on Big Data."

About the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario
The Information and Privacy Commissioner is appointed by and reports to the Ontario Legislative Assembly, and is independent of the government of the day. The Commissioner's mandate includes overseeing the access and privacy provisions of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act and the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, as well as the Personal Health Information Protection Act, which applies to both public and private sector health information custodians. A vital component of the Commissioner's mandate is to help educate the public about access and privacy issues.

SOURCE: Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner/Ontario

For further information:

Media contact:
Trell Huether
Media Relations Specialist
Office: 416-326-3939
Mobile: 416-873-9746

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