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Privacy by Design: Embracing ISO 31700-1:2023’s Consumer Protection Guidelines

Published November 22, 2023

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Privacy by Design (PbD) has become increasingly important in today's digital landscape as personal data collection, storage, and utilization have become pervasive. Privacy by Design was first coined in the 1970s and officially incorporated in the 1990s into the European Union’s Data Protection Directive, officially Directive 95/46/EC.

The ever-escalation of privacy breaches, data misuse, data processing activities without user consent, and identity theft incidents have raised serious concerns among individuals and regulatory bodies alike, urging international bodies to introduce a regulatory framework.

International Organization for Standardization (ISO) 31700-1:2023’s Consumer Protection — Privacy by Design for Consumer Goods and Services, published on 31 January 2023, offers a proactive and preventive approach to addressing these concerns by embedding privacy principles and safeguards into the very foundation of products, services, and systems.

ISO 31700-1:2023’s Privacy by Design establishes detailed high-level requirements to protect privacy throughout the lifecycle of a consumer product, comprising data processed by the customer from the point at which a product is first introduced to the market, through consumer usage and purchase, through the point at which all instances of that product are permanently retired from use.

According to IBM, the average cost of a data breach in the US alone is $9.44 million, and the global average cost of a data breach is $4.35 million. The repercussions for the individual may be severe if their Personal Identifiable Information (PII) has been compromised due to inadequate, out-of-date, or nonexistent privacy practices. Additionally, significant legal repercussions or reputational damage to the company providing the consumer goods could diminish consumers' trust in the digital product or service.

Overview of ISO 31700-1:2023’s Privacy by Design

The ISO 31700-1:2023’s Privacy by Design document is a long-awaited comprehensive response for companies and individuals alike who are struggling to beef up their privacy practices.

Privacy by Design: Embracing ISO 31700-1:2023’s Consumer Protection Guidelines

Scope

The document's key target audiences are the employees of organizations and other parties in charge of the concept, design, manufacture, management, testing, operation, service, maintenance, and disposal of consumer goods and services.

The document establishes high-level requirements for privacy by design to protect privacy throughout the lifecycle of a consumer product, including data processed by the consumer.

Privacy by Design

Privacy by Design refers to several methodologies for product, process, system, software and service development. It denotes that a product has built-in, consumer-focused privacy settings and controls that offer the right amount of privacy without unduly burdening the user.

Accurate privacy assertions, methodical privacy due diligence procedures, and more openness and accountability in designing and operating consumer goods that process PII are all becoming increasingly in demand. The objective is to encourage the use of the privacy-aware design on a larger scale, gain customer trust, and meet the demands of consumers for effective privacy and data security.

Additionally, the goal is to develop and support novel approaches that safeguard and manage consumers' privacy:

  1. a) by analyzing and putting in place privacy controls based on the perspective, context, and needs of consumers; and
  2. b) by clearly outlining and informing consumers directly about how privacy considerations were handled.

Privacy by Design emphasizes the consumer perspective when institutionalizing robust privacy norms throughout the ecosystem, including privacy protection and data handling practices.

With privacy by design, the consumer's behavior with the product(s) and their privacy demands are taken into account from the beginning and all the way through the product's lifecycle process. Making decisions about customer privacy demands in this manner will make them more standardized and methodical, and they will turn into a functional necessity alongside the objectives of product design, business, and other stakeholders.

The Need for Privacy by Design

The growing concerns around data privacy coupled with legal and regulatory obligations have highlighted the importance of Privacy by Design. The methodology supports a privacy-respectful environment in a world that is becoming increasingly data-driven while also serving as a proactive strategy to resolve privacy concerns and protect individuals' rights.

Privacy by Design has now become a requirement by law for organizations conducting business in some jurisdictions due to the emergence of strict data protection legislation like the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), and the California Privacy Rights Act (CPRA). Integrating privacy concerns into the design and development phases enables compliance with changing legislation, minimizing the risk of fines, penalties, and legal trouble.

Privacy by Design enables organizations to proactively identify, address vulnerabilities, and reduce potential data processing risks by conducting privacy impact assessments (PIA) or data protection impact assessments (DPIA). By doing so, they can ensure that the necessary security measures are in place to protect against data breaches, unauthorized access, and data leaks.

Privacy by Design empowers individuals by giving them more control over their personal data. It compels organizations to offer diverse options for user consent and preferences, as well as clear and transparent privacy notices and policies regarding data collection, purposes, and processing activities. With this level of transparency, users become more confident and feel more in control of their personal information.

Organizations prioritizing privacy by design gain a competitive edge, especially at a time when privacy concerns are prevalent. It’s no secret that consumers who care about their privacy actively look for goods and services that respect their privacy rights.

Key Principles of ISO 31700-1:2023

ISO 31700-1:2023 provides guidelines and recommendations for organizations to integrate privacy considerations into the design, development, implementation, and evaluation of products, services, and systems by adopting privacy-enhancing technologies to protect personal data and respect individual privacy rights. Some key aspects covered include:

Privacy Principles

The standard outlines fundamental privacy principles that organizations should consider, including empowerment and transparency, institutionalization and responsibility, ecosystem and lifecycle consent, purpose limitation, data minimization, anonymization and pseudonymization techniques, transparency, and accountability.

Privacy Risk Assessment

Organizations must evaluate and manage privacy risks connected to their systems, services, and products. This involves identifying potential privacy vulnerabilities, assessing their implications, and implementing the appropriate security measures to mitigate or eliminate such risks.

Privacy by Design Processes

Organizations must integrate privacy requirements into the design and development processes, such as conducting privacy impact assessments, implementing privacy-enhancing technologies, and ensuring privacy measures are incorporated into system architecture and functionality.

Privacy Governance and Accountability

Organizations must establish privacy governance frameworks by defining roles and responsibilities, implementing privacy notices/policies and procedures, conducting privacy training and awareness programs, and ensuring ongoing compliance with relevant privacy laws and regulations.

Privacy in Third-Party Relationships

Organizations are required to take privacy issues into account when dealing with outside vendors and service providers. It emphasizes that businesses must evaluate their partners' privacy policies and ensure the necessary contractual controls are in place to protect personal data.

Proactive Approach

Organizations are required to take a proactive rather than reactive approach to privacy. Instead of attempting to address privacy and data protection requirements as an afterthought or in response to privacy incidents, organizations must take them into account from the very beginning of design and development.

Privacy as the Default

The principle of privacy as the default means that privacy settings and measures should be automatically set to their most protective level by default. Individuals should not be required to take additional steps or opt-out to protect their privacy. Rather, individuals should have the option to decide whether or not to share their personal information while privacy is the default state.

Data Minimization

Data minimization comprises collecting and processing just the minimal amount of personal information required for the intended purpose. The amount of personal data collected by organizations should be kept to a minimum and only be what is absolutely necessary and relevant for achieving the intended objectives.

One of the core components of Privacy by Design is to empower individuals and provide them with meaningful control over their personal data. This involves obtaining informed consent for data collection and processing activities and enabling easy access, alteration, and deletion of the individual’s personal data.

Transparency and Notice

Organizations must ensure transparency by making information about their privacy practices clear, concise, and easily accessible. The reasons for collecting data, the categories of data being gathered, how it will be used, and any third parties with whom it might be shared should all be made publicly clear.

Security and Safeguards

Organizations must establish adequate technical and organizational protections to maintain the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of personal data to protect it from unauthorized access, disclosure, alteration, or destruction.

Accountability

Privacy by Design places a strong emphasis on accountability when handling personal data. Organizations should take responsibility for implementing policies, procedures, and other measures to demonstrate compliance with privacy regulations as well as an effective response to any privacy incidents or data breaches.

Implementing ISO 31700-1:2023 in Business Practices

There are several steps organizations can take to implement ISO 31700-1:2023 into their business practices, including:

Integrating Privacy by Design into Organizational Culture

Leadership is essential in establishing a culture of privacy. Leadership should set the tone for privacy and consistently demonstrate a strong commitment and accountability to Privacy by Design principles. Encourage open lines of communication so that staff members can voice privacy concerns or ask questions.

Assigning Privacy Champions and Regular Training

Privacy advocates can be assigned to foster a culture of privacy and comprehensive training should be given to employees at all levels to raise awareness about privacy, data protection laws, and best practices.

Establishing Privacy Policies and Procedures

Develop and implement clear, comprehensive, and alignment with policies and procedures. These should include data collection, utilization, storage, sharing, and disposal. Review and update these policies frequently to reflect new privacy concerns.

Conducting Privacy Impact Assessments

For new initiatives, projects, or technologies that comprise the processing of personal data, organizations should conduct privacy impact assessments (PIAs) that identify privacy issues and ensure that suitable privacy safeguards are incorporated into the design.

Enabling Privacy as a Default Setting

Create default privacy-friendly settings for products and services that respect privacy. The default setting for privacy should be private, and individuals should be able to easily change their privacy settings to their needs.

Adopt a data minimization strategy in which just a minimal amount of personal information is collected and stored. Ensure that an individual’s explicit and informed consent is obtained before collecting, using, or disclosing their personal information.

Ensuring Privacy in Vendor Relationships

Incorporate privacy reservations and baselines when collaborating with third-party vendors or partners. Ensure that they comply with privacy by design principles and take the privacy of individuals seriously by doing due diligence.

Ongoing Monitoring and Compliance

To ensure compliance with evolving privacy regulations, periodically review and audit the organization's privacy practices by implementing procedures for handling privacy-related incidents and violations quickly and effectively.

How Securiti Can Help

Securiti enables organizations to comply with ISO 31700-1:2023 and avoid costly liabilities such as noncompliance penalties, data breaches, and reputational damage.

Securiti Data Command Center leverages contextual data intelligence and automation to unify data controls across security, privacy, compliance, and governance through a single, fully integrated platform.

Request a demo to witness Securiti in action.

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