On January 28, the international community observed Data Privacy Day, an annual effort to create awareness about the importance of privacy and protecting personal information. Cisco was honored to once again participate in the National Cyber Security Alliance’s (NCSA) Data Privacy Day events.

Each year, the Day’s theme is Respecting Privacy, Safeguarding Data and Enabling Trust – all principles that we at Cisco strongly embrace and make an integral part of our culture and practices. We were heartened to see so many organizations support this important event, as well as the growing press coverage around the event and privacy in general.

Cisco did its part to help raise awareness, starting with a January 23rd blog post exploring why privacy is a basic human right, but also good for business. If you think through the relationship and reputational opportunities, it just makes sense.

I was honored to participate in panel discussions with privacy experts from several corporations during a day-long program at Twitter’s San Francisco headquarters:

Along with members of the business community, several members of the press were in attendance, who also promoted the importance of privacy:

I also took part in a lively Twitter chat, Being #Privacy Aware is Good for Business. This discussion, led by NCSA’s Director of Digital Strategy Kara Wright, included privacy leaders from TRUSTe, the Future of Privacy Forum, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission, and several other organizations, providing highly informed perspectives and a lot of food for thought.

Finally, I joined NCSA’s Executive Director, Michael Kaiser, to share our perspectives on leveraging data as a critical asset but respecting the customers and employees that the data represents:

While these events were fun, the underpinning message is that data protection and privacy is serious stuff. In the digital age, the brands that will prevail are those who embrace transparency, responsible data management and demonstrated respect for customer privacy.
If done right, privacy and security can and will combine to create great value for business and for consumers. Data Privacy Day is a great reminder of that. But privacy can’t be a one-day or one-week thing. To be truly effective, data protection and privacy must be deeply integrated into the culture and the ongoing operations of any organization that wants to be, and be seen as, a privacy champion.

Visit us at trust.cisco.com to learn more.


Michelle Dennedy

No Longer with Cisco