Today, we are going to look at the Privacy & Confidentiality Protection in the era of Big Data and it’s Policies. The Big data and it’s privacy: can they really coexist after deployment? When we look at the history of data breaches around the world, it would seem very unlikely. See this top post of the week – Big Data Solutions: Things You Must Know Before Deployment.

Maybe one of the scariest data breaches of our time happened to Samsung Company this year. It was gathered that secret keys, source codes, and several credentials for several important programs. The breach also includes the SmartThings platform for which is used for controlling smart home devices were leaked through GitLab with the shares set to public. View Source.

If you are aware about these leaks, you are agree that this data breach highlights a significant issue around big data development. Most times, the developers don’t even take privacy and security of data protection as seriously as they should have.

Problems of Privacy & Confidentiality Protection

In many countries especially in United States and Canada, disclosure and use of personal information relating to a person’s data is regulated by laws on privacy, confidentiality and data protection. In any case, some companies tries to keep information safe, in line with national laws and regulations, including the Data Protection Act. They try to use existing ethical, legal, and other approaches to protecting confidentiality and privacy of big data, personal health data, online data etc by offer some safeguards policies. Now, lets look at some Problems of Privacy & Confidentiality Protection.

Problem No. 1: The Lack of Transparency

First of all, the rapid growth of big data shows that these privacy issues should be checked now instead of later. Therefore, FP and Stanford Law School, in an effort to get the information privacy ball rolling, recently held the conference titled “Big Data and Privacy: Making Ends Meet.” Reporters were there live during this all-day event to report the outcome. In the cause of the symposium, guest speakers where able to talk about various topics in their presentation, including the potential threat to personal data through secondary privacy risks. The also tried to provide potential solutions, such as using internal privacy boards.

Several speakers has their own points to offer but the most significant problem highlighted throughout the Big Data and Privacy meeting was the lack of transparency. Very strict non-disclosure and confidentiality agreements seem to prevent any form of intelligent discussion regarding general data protection regulations. Also, the fear of having secret industry algorithms stolen by cyber criminals is the main reason why startups, medium scale firms and companies/organisations choose to withhold disclosing how they make use personal data.

Problem No. 2: Lack of Choice

There is another common problem in trusting algorithms with personal information. The issue is that the user loses opportunities to explore new options. This alone has caused a form of digital inequality among offerings. The general users now lack any real choice. This issue has proven to alter their perspectives by only exposing them to information that matches their interests and individual preferences.

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This occurs even when you stay within legal boundaries, the United States puts users at risk by the following

  • a) being broadly permissive of how big data is used and
  • b) allowing experimentation.

The Federal Trade Commission may shut down projects that use unfair or deceptive practices, but the FTC alone cannot be expected to monitor the entire internet for such issues. View Source. You cannot say that consumers should be relied on to find these discrepancies because majority of users are not even aware of how their personal information are being utilized when they consent to have it collected online.

Even though we all agree that a new general data protection law is required, installing a set of regulations that would correctly address the problem of big data and privacy won’t be easy. Basically, the obligation of looking out for customers’ data falls into the hands of individual organisations.

Transparency is Key to Data Privacy Rights

In our own opinion, there is one way in which companies can help resolve the issues with privacy and big data is to try to be as transparent and cohesive about their data privacy practices as possible with customers. This should be done most especially particularly when asking them to agree to cookies to collect, use, and share their personal data.

Even though it’s generally understandable that a company may be concerned about disclosing their trade secrets, it is also reasonable to expect that they provide some basic overview of that system to all of their customers. Except, the company do not understand why user’s personal information is being collected and shouldn’t be collecting it, in the first place.

In fact, every company should inform their customers that their personal data is being collected, in addition to:

  1. Firstly; what’s being done with it
  2. Secondly; where it is being collected from
  3. Thirdly, how it is being analyzed
  4. Finally, what measures are in place to protect it

Furthermore, when it comes to privacy and big data, the one bit of information you should not be transparent about is your strategies. It may seem smart for a company to disclose what cards they may be able to come out of the closet, it would be foolish to disclose the exact last cards they have in their hand and how they intend on playing them.

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As a matter of fact, this transparency can simply be accomplished by communicating with the general public through various platforms. This includes public relations outreach, email threads and social media posts. Instead of discussing specific details, share what you intend to do with the information collected from users. These companies should just don’t share the juicy details with third parties. Therefore, in doing so, the company can keep your strategic secrets while remaining fully transparent to the general public and their customers.

Take Full Advantage of IoT Security Tools

Going forward, while their is nothing much that may be able to protect every user from a developer uploading confidential code to PasteBin or otherwise, there are still some crucial steps a company can take to ensure they’re handling privacy and big data the right way. Sentient Unified Endpoint Management helps secure your company’s networks by unifying everyday administrative tasks for all your endpoints into one extensible, flexible, integrated interface. It provides advanced endpoint management, real-time see and fix, compliance management, kiosk management, ATM jack-potting, automated risk etc.

This is one last word of advice: please encourage developers NOT to share their codings outside of company-created and approved sharing resources. Seriously, the security of this can be enhanced even more by having your Information Technology team create locked-down sharing environments for development teams. Public and Private cloud containers over a VPN make an excellent resource for this purpose, and Rovius Cloud can assist in creating the perfect hybrid cloud environment for any size organization. This article focused on the Protecting Confidentiality & Privacy in the Era of Big Data.

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