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TEMPE, Ariz. — Recent events have many of us questioning whether our personal information is really safe online. Federal officials are asking Apple and Google about how some of their phones track users’ locations. More than 70 million Sony PlayStation users may have had their personal information stolen in a recent computer-hacking incident, and Google says several hundred Gmail accounts were recently breached, too. Late last month, Facebook was among the companies appearing in front of legislators to talk about updating privacy laws.
An expert at Arizona State University, Associate Professor Marilyn Prosch, helped to create one of the world’s first data-privacy research labs. The Privacy by Design Research Lab at the W. P. Carey School of Business is working with industry leaders, under the executive advisement of Ontario Information and Privacy Commissioner Ann Cavoukian, to produce guidelines for businesses worldwide to effectively protect personal data. Prosch says businesses need to start building privacy guidelines into their data collection methods from the very start, instead of waiting for something to go wrong.
“In general, everyone in the Information Age tends to think data is an asset, and that if you can collect it, then you should; after all, it’s cheap to store,” explains Prosch. “However, businesses are starting to see this can be a liability. We teach data minimization. If you don’t need it, then don’t collect it, and only keep what you need for the required amount of time.”
Prosch recently spoke to a large, high-profile audience in Silicon Valley about what needs to be done to make things safer for Internet users and also discussed the regulatory environment related to Privacy by Design at a conference hosted by the University of California, Berkeley’s Center for Law and Technology. She is sharing her Top 10 data-privacy tips for both consumers and businesses.
Top 10 Tips for Internet Users:
Top 10 Tips for Companies:
Prosch thinks positively about the future for data-privacy protection.
She says, “Technology has changed so rapidly that it will take a while for controls to catch up, but data minimization is the way we are moving. We think we can clean up the current state of data pollution in the long run.”
W. P. CAREY SCHOOL OF BUSINESS
The W. P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University is one of the top-ranked and largest business schools in the United States. The school is internationally regarded for its research productivity and its distinguished faculty members, including a Nobel Prize winner. Students come from 99 countries and include 60 National Merit Scholars. For more information, please visit wpcarey.asu.edu and http://knowledge.wpcarey.asu.edu.