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Privacy 25 January 2018

Limited Time Only: Read our Springer/Nature Paper on Healthcare, Security, and Privacy

Robin Wilton
By Robin WiltonTechnical Outreach for Identity and Privacy

Last year, I was invited to contribute a paper to a special edition of the Health and Technology Journal published by Springer/Nature. The special issue addressed privacy and security, with a particular focus on healthcare and medical data. I’m happy to announce that now, for four weeks only, the publishers have made the whole issue available free.

From our accompanying blog post last July:

“The paper, “Trust and ethical data handling in the healthcare context” examines the issues associated with healthcare data in terms of ethics, privacy, and trust, and makes recommendations about what we, as individuals, should ask for and expect from the organisations we entrust with our most sensitive personal data.”

Although we can find several comprehensive and mature data protection frameworks around the world, current legal safeguards to not seem to prevent data controllers from indulging in:

  • over collection
  • insufficient care of personal data
  • unexpected or unwelcome use
  • excessive sharing

In my paper, I argue that a narrow focus on regulatory compliance can lead to a “checklist” mentality, obscure the real reasons why organisations should treat data with care and respect, and lead to poor outcomes for both the organisation and the individual. I suggest that we should be encouraging organisations to develop a more collaborative approach, in which data subjects’ interests are better respected, and organisations find that, as a consequence, their risks are lowered and their reputations enhanced.

This also dovetails with the Online Trust Alliance’s new Cyber Incidents & Breach Trends Report that recommends, in part: “By establishing a culture of stewardship (vs just compliance) and implementing policies that take a proactive approach to proper handling and safeguarding of data, organizations can minimize exposure to the cyber incident tsunami and actually thrive by building and maintaining trust with their customers.”

I didn’t know it at the time, but I had some illustrious co-contributors to this special issue, including:

  • Giovanni Buttarelli, European Data Protection Supervisor and former Secretary General of the Italian Data Protection Authority
  • Ann Cavoukian, former Ontario Privacy Commissioner, and the architect of the “Privacy by Design” concept
  • Luca Belli, leader of the Internet Governance project at the FGV Law School, Rio de Janeiro
  • Julia Powles, tech law researcher at Cambridge University
  • … and many others.

If I’d been aware of the lineup, I doubt I’d have had the nerve to put pen to paper. So, whether or not you read my piece, do seize the opportunity to learn from these experienced practitioners and thought leaders on data protection and privacy. Here’s where to find the journal: https://link.springer.com/journal/12553/7/4/page/1

Data Privacy Day, an international effort to create awareness about the importance of respecting privacy, safeguarding data and enabling trust, is this Sunday, 28 January. Now is a great time to read these articles and reports and take a look at your own data privacy and protection practices.

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