Privacy should be baked in

The individual is most often the last consideration of software development.  The first consideration is achieving the goals of the business.  Oh sure, we in the industry talk endlessly, and sincerely, about the end-user experience but it’s usually in the context of how their experience affects the overall business.  Despite the simple and straightforward phrase, I’m not convinced we know what end-user experience really means.  It’s true that it means, in part, an understanding of the ease with which a user interacts with an application to get the results they need in the time they deem acceptable.  I argue that it should also mean that the software development cycle should take the approach that each end-user deserves the respect of an application designed from the beginning with their privacy as a top priority.  Ann Cavoukian, the Ontario Information and Privacy Commissioner, describes it best in the short videos found on her organization’s website, Privacy by Design.  

So many of the data breach issues we see ever so frequently these days could be avoided if system and application design would take more seriously basic privacy rights of the end-user from the very beginning.  A separation of business data from the personal IDs we tag to users/consumers would go a long way towards minimizing the personal exposure so many fear in today’s online business.  But it takes careful thought and deliberate intelligence from the outset.  Are businesses willing to invest in that?  Or would they rather put their brand on the line later on?

About Peter Armaly
I get jazzed by automation, big data, and blockchain tech. Business, technology, and fitness are things I understand. Scotch, wine, food, and fiction are things I appreciate.

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