March 16, 2009
If you’re a privacy professional, you’re likely overwhelmed with the ongoing task of staying on top of legal, industry and technology developments. As you know, there’s no shortage of issues these days. Hopefully, this blog is helping your efforts!
But if you work for a private sector organization and haven’t yet signed up for the federal Privacy Commissioner‘s e-newsletter entitled Privacy Perspectives, I’d suggest you do. It contains great information and helps to stay on top of things.
If you’re in Manitoba and work for a public body, the Winter 2009 Issue of Manitoba OmbudsNews was published last Friday on the Manitoba Ombudsman‘s website. It’s also a great resource.
If you’re still in need of ongoing assistance and aren’t already a member of the Privacy Forum, you may want to touch base with me to learn more. It has been a super venue over the last 6 years for information sharing and the current members are an excellent group of individuals and first rate privacy professionals.
February 25, 2009
I chaired a lively Privacy Forum member meeting yesterday, which included a great discussion on how to get staff “buy-in” on privacy compliance. It’s an important topic because an organization can have comprehensive privacy policies and procedures, but if employees don’t “buy-in” they won’t implement the policies and procedures properly.
The important thing is to develop a culture of privacy within the workplace. Fostering a workplace culture where privacy is valued and respected contributes to good employee morale and mutual trust. It also helps employees to identify privacy issues before they become privacy complaints (which can result in costly grievances, lawsuits or settlements). After all, it’s employees that are on the front line with customers and how employees respond to privacy related questions or concerns can make a big difference.
When I conduct privacy training sessions for clients, I always remind employees that while privacy compliance is the law, it’s also important because good privacy practices can improve customer relations, increase efficiencies and mitigate time-consuming and costly privacy complaints. I also try to make privacy compliance fun! No, this is not a misprint…I said “fun”. Privacy Forum members had some great suggestions on how to make privacy compliance fun and, in doing so, help to get staff “buy-in” on privacy compliance.
Please post a Comment below on ways that you or your organization tries to get staff “buy-in” on privacy.
February 20, 2009
Privacy professionals will know first hand the importance of conducting regular staff privacy training, which can mitigate customer privacy complaints and (as a result) the overall costs of privacy compliance. I certainly know from my practice that the costs to businesses can be quite significant when having to deal with serious privacy complaints. These costs can include settlements, legal fees and lost productivity. Obviously, it’s better to be proactive and reduce the chances of having to deal with privacy complaints. That’s where regular staff privacy training comes in! Businesses really should conduct staff privacy training on a regular basis – in my view, at least on an annual basis.
In a recent speech to the 10th Annual Privacy and Security Conference in Victoria, B.C., Privacy Commissioner Jennifer Stoddart commented, “Polling for my Office in 2007 found that only a third of all businesses reported having trained staff about their responsibilities under Canada’s privacy laws. This is a huge concern! We recently conducted an analysis of 86 breaches reported to my Office and found that employee awareness and training was the most important contributing factor. It was an issue in more than half of the spills we examined! We found that very basic mistakes – human errors – often lead to breaches. Breaches are caused mostly by employee misconduct and human error, not technological weaknesses.” The full speech is entitled, “A Privacy Check Up For Canadians: Is the Glass Half Empty or Half Full?” and is definitely worth reading.
February 11, 2009
Privacy chief important role in modern firm
My August 18, 2008 column in the Winnipeg Free Press provides a definition of the position of Chief Privacy Officer (CPO) as well as some tips to help determine the scope of the role in particular firms.