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Personal privacy or public safety? New initiative hopes to ensure both

Closing the rift between privacy, public safety and Big Data is the focus of a new organization launched by global privacy and security experts.

“Each time there is a terrorist attack, the tide rises in favor of mass surveillance. However, mass surveillance of personal data is in fact counter-productive to keeping society safe from terrorists and criminals. The time has come to replace this dated paradigm, which is slowly destroying our privacy and our underlying freedoms, in favor of win-win models that allow the achievement of multiple objectives, such as privacy and public safety, simultaneously.” ~ Ann Cavoukian, founder and chair of GPS by Design, and a board member of the Energy Probe Research Foundation (Probe International’s parent organization).

Press Release

TORONTO, ONTARIO, October 17, 2016: Ann Cavoukian – three-term Privacy Commissioner of Ontario, Executive Director of the Ryerson Privacy & Big Data Institute and creator of Privacy by Design – announced the creation of the International Council on Global Privacy and Security, by Design.

The mission of “GPS by Design” is to dispel the commonly held view that organizations must choose between privacy and public safety or business interests (i.e., “big data” analytics). The council’s goal is to educate stakeholders that public and private-sector organizations can develop policies and technologies where privacy and public safety, and privacy and big data, can work together to achieve positive-sum, win-win outcomes.

“Each time there is a terrorist attack, the tide rises in favor of mass surveillance. However, mass surveillance of personal data is in fact counter-productive to keeping society safe from terrorists and criminals,” said Ann Cavoukian, founder and chair of GPS by Design. “The time has come to replace this dated paradigm, which is slowly destroying our privacy and our underlying freedoms, in favor of win-win models that allow the achievement of multiple objectives, such as privacy and public safety, simultaneously.”

The International Council on Global Privacy and Security, by Design will work with companies, national privacy commissioners and technology professionals to educate the public and raise awareness for privacy by design. Privacy by design is an approach to technology design that embeds privacy-enhancing measures into technology at the point of design and production, and sells to consumers, technology with strong default privacy settings.

Initially, the Council will have three key objectives:

  • educate politicians, businesses, government, media and the public that systems can and must be engineered to protect both privacy and security;
  • create policy templates that can show how privacy can be applied to technologies in the digital age; and
  • foster technology innovation in academic institutions around the world to advance privacy and public safety, as well as privacy and business interests, such as big data and data analytics, without sacrificing either privacy or security.

Dr. Cavoukian is joined on the GPS by Design council by founding members Darren Entwistle, President and CEO of TELUS (the Council’s first founding member); Michael Chertoff, Executive Chairman of The Chertoff Group and second Secretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security; Gilles de Kerchove, Coordinator of E.U. Counter-Terrorism; and Greg Wolfond, CEO of SecureKey.

For more information, please visit gpsbydesign.org.

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