In 2014, I joined the International Association of Privacy Professionals as an IT Security Professional tasked with operationalizing security and privacy programs across the organization. As anyone would expect given my role at the IAPP and subsequently, at Osano, I follow trends in the quickly evolving privacy landscape and for the most part, it hasn’t given me much to talk about at dinner parties.
Recently, however, a trend I did not foresee has emerged that I find quite fascinating — and alarming; a trend I personally refer to as the “weaponization of privacy.” Specific examples include Amazon adding code to its digital properties to block FLoC from tracking visitors using Google’s Chrome browser, Apple implementing privacy controls to take out Facebook (while significantly increasing ad revenue), inter alia.
Despite the feel-good marketing spin, to many privacy insiders who watch what these companies are doing closely, the rise of “weaponizing privacy” is a reminder that — even in the face of public outcry and a dramatic increase in privacy regulations springing up — “privacy” is still viewed as just another circumstance that can be leveraged to gain an advantage in a game where the goal is, and always will be, to enrich a very, very small group of individuals.
But this unwillingness or inability by key leaders to do what needs to be done does not mean the pursuit of an ideal state by privacy professionals is tantamount to plowing sand. Quite the contrary. What this means is, it is now more important than ever that privacy professionals, marketers, and the development community step up and force the change that needs to happen.
Privacy is deserving of the highest regard. But it is still not the default, and there is still much left to do by every member of the privacy community.
When others (motivated by competing priorities) challenge you, attempt to circumvent you, or outright ignore you, I argue that you have a responsibility to push back, and stand up for what is right…not just that which is technically “legal”; which are not the same and this makes it hard. But truly preserving privacy will not be easy, but that is how you know it is worth doing.
Top privacy stories of the week
Prepare for California’s next big privacy law: the CPRA
Are you ready for the CPRA? If not, we’ve got you covered in our latest ebook, where we answer some of your most pressing questions about what the CPRA is, how it compares to the CCPA, what you need to start working on now, and even what enforcement might look like. Download here
Getty Images launches industry model release supporting data privacy
As machine learning and artificial intelligence become more advanced — and biometric data becomes increasingly vital for data protection and privacy — Getty Images has created a new model release in the hopes of protecting the creator community. According to Getty Images, the new release “will provide clarity and guidance as to how data, including visual content, can be tracked and handled appropriately.” Read more
Key data insights from FTC CafePress settlement
The FTC’s first data privacy settlement in over a year provides some key insights into how the FTC is approaching cybersecurity enforcement. While there’s a lot of continuity in how they’ve responded — specifically in their data security requirements — there are also some new requirements to note. For example, the FTC is proposing that CafePress adopt multi-factor authentication and “policies and procedures to ‘minimize data collection, storage and retention.” Read more
Google’s decade-old analytics platform is going away as the company embraces the post-cookie, cross-channel future of measurement
Google’s Universal Analytics platform will be phased out next year and replaced with Google Analytics 4, which doesn’t require cookies and won’t maintain IP addresses in an effort to help brands comply with privacy laws. Read more