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The Best of Privacy for 2016


With the Winter Solstice just behind us, the days will begin to get longer. While we are still in the darkest part of the year, now is a great time to shine a light on some of this year’s best privacy stories and resources.

Privacy awareness gained valuable ground in 2016, as the IAPP’s Trevor Hughes details in his article “Looking back at privacy in 2016” and The Observer’s “The 13 Biggest, Most Controversial Privacy Stories of 2016” attests. Intrusive technology and information requests which used to slip by in the shadows now find themselves the subject of major news stories.

Let’s take a look at this year’s top privacy advocacy resources and those out there developing privacy awareness programs and offerings.

The International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP)

The IAPP is “the world’s largest global information privacy community” and a “resource for professionals who want to develop and advance their careers by helping their organizations successfully manage these risks and protect their data.”

One particularly excellent resource the IAPP offers is The Privacy Advisor Podcast:

“In this series, Privacy Advisor editor Angelique Carson, CIPP/US, seeks to interview privacy professionals from around the globe to discuss news, the profession and, well, anything else that comes up.”

Future of Privacy Forum

A superb resource for the privacy-aware is the Future of Privacy Forum, a “non-profit organization that serves as a catalyst for privacy leadership and scholarship, advancing principled data practices in support of emerging technologies.” According to their website, “FPF helps fill the void in the “space not occupied by law” which exists due to the speed of technology development. As “data optimists,” we believe that the power of data for good is a net benefit to society, and that it can be well-managed to control risks and offer the best protections and empowerment to consumers and individuals.”

A stand-out section of the FPF’s robust site is the “Best Practices Archive,” a one-stop library of information about best practices on everything from apps to drones and more:

The Electronic Frontier Foundation

If you’re looking for the tactical, practical, and cutting-edge, the Electronic Frontier Foundation provides a wealth of breaking stories on ways to protect your privacy and keep an eye on the organizations and institutions working for and against the cause.

From the website:

“The Electronic Frontier Foundation is the leading nonprofit organization defending civil liberties in the digital world. Founded in 1990, EFF champions user privacy, free expression, and innovation through impact litigation, policy analysis, grassroots activism, and technology development. We work to ensure that rights and freedoms are enhanced and protected as our use of technology grows.”

The EFF has an extremely helpful library organized by issue, covering free speech, fair use, innovation, privacy, international affairs, and transparency:

The American Civil Liberties Union

Even if you’re a newbie to privacy advocacy, you’ve probably heard of the ACLU. As the ACLU website will tell you,

“For nearly 100 years, the ACLU has been our nation’s guardian of liberty, working in courts, legislatures, and communities to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties that the Constitution and the laws of the United States guarantee everyone in this country.”

Though the organization is dedicated to defending a broad spectrum of civil liberties, it does have specific sections which focus on Privacy & Technology and the most current issues. The ACLU remains an indispensible ally and force for good when it comes to our right to privacy.

Looking at 2017 & Beyond

Learning about privacy resources is the first step towards taking action. Given the importance of privacy advocacy in uncertain political times, connecting with a network of similarly concerned and engaged individuals is one way to take social responsibility for our collective human right to privacy.

Surely the technology and information culture of 2017 will offer opportunities for tremendous good, but it is up to us to make sure we share those benefits without sacrificing fundamental rights. Hopefully next year’s list of top privacy resources will continue to grow.

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