On the Convergence of Data Privacy and Data Security – Part 1

If you’re fairly new to this ‘privacy stuff’, you might be wondering why I used the phrase ‘data privacy’, not ‘data protection’. Well, unlike the security industry where we can’t even agree on when to use ‘cybersecurity’, ‘data security’, or ‘information security’, the privacy world has its act together. Hell, security folk can’t even agree on the spelling OF cybersecurity/cyber security!

But for the purposes of this blog, and the Part 2 guest blog to follow, it’s important that you accept my definitions at least, whether you agree with the names or not. It’s the points I’m trying to make that matter, not the nomenclature.

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Making Britain ‘Adequate’ Again

No, this is not a political statement, though I couldn’t resist a play on words that also takes a poke at nationalist imbeciles on both sides of the Atlantic.

Instead, this is about the UK’s pending/potential/who-the-hell-knows-when/if exit from the EU and its effects on international transfers of personal data to/from the UK to/from the EU. Amazingly this is still confusing to a significant portion of the population, if they have even looked into it at all. You must understand that unless you have absolutely no intention of doing business whatsoever with your soon-to-be-ex EU counterparts, it’s the UK businesses that will need to be pro-active. Well, pro-active was three years ago, but you simply must make it easy for EU-based businesses to work with you regardless of the Brexit result.

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Are Data Protection Laws Hurting International Business?

[Note: For this blog I’m going to focus on US-based ‘content’ providers (e.g. newspapers) as these folks seem to be the ones hit particularly hard by EU legislation.]

From May 25th 2018, we have all likely encountered at least one of these notices when browsing US-based websites:

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GDPR: What To Expect When You’re Breached

You’ll notice I said ‘when’, not if, because if you have personal data online you will, eventually, be breached in some way.

I know this because the GDPR’s definition of ‘personal data breach‘ (Art. 4(12)) does not just mean ‘hacked by a bad guy’, it means: “a breach of security leading to the accidental or unlawful destruction, loss, alteration, unauthorised disclosure of, or access to, personal data transmitted, stored or otherwise processed;”. This therefore includes every unauthorised action that happens to the data, including the inevitability of human error. Nothing malicious, just a simple mistake, but it’s still a breach.

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Why the BA Fine Was So High, and What YOU Can Do To Avoid the Same

I have long maintained that fines under GDPR are the last resort, and that the ICO do NOT want to use Article 83 of the GDPR as a stick to scare organisations into compliance.

The ICO commissioner, Elizabeth Denham has even said as much herself, using the word “nonsense” when it was suggested that large fines would become the norm, that “Issuing fines has always been, and will continue to be, a last resort[…]“, and “While fines may be the sledgehammer in our toolbox, we have access to lots of other tools that are well suited to the task at hand and just as effective […]“.

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