We humans love to share and communicate. From the beginning of recorded history, we’ve sought connection, culture, and commerce by sharing aspects of ourselves with others. But we also want to be left alone without undue interference to lead our lives. So how do we solve this dichotomy?

First off, let me emphatically say that I view privacy as a basic human right – along with life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. But in today’s information age, many say privacy is dead. I prefer to think of this as a challenging and exciting time for exploration, innovation, and creation — not defeat. We can best reconcile the opportunities and challenges of the digital age through a thoughtful approach to the data organizations collect and how they use it, as well as awareness and responsibility for what individuals willingly share.

Data is one of an organization’s most valuable assets, but it must be planned for, managed and responsibly protected just as any other critical business asset. We do this with our budget and finances. Why not approach data the same way?dpd-1

Getting this right requires engagement from the Board level down to those who “touch” the data in their daily work. Throughout the organization, we must remember that “data” is an excellent way to get to know our customers and employees and, therefore, demands respect. Brand reputations can be strengthened or badly damaged depending on how an enterprise uses or misuses, protects or compromises their customer data asset and the people behind it.

My privacy engineer colleagues and I see a horizon where privacy and security, if done well, can combine to create great value. We are confident that we can realize that value through systematic engineering and privacy policies based on enterprise goals and appropriate government regulations.

Be a Privacy Champion

I urge you to take time on National Data Privacy Day to reflect and act on the importance of privacy strategy in all aspects of our lives. Participate through your social channels in some of the many Data Privacy Day activities Cisco is championing with the National Cyber Security Alliance. Join the conversation!

  • Join #ChatSTC Twitter Chat: Being #PrivacyAware is Good for Business, Wednesday, Jan. 25, 3 p.m. EST/12 p.m. PST: This #ChatSTC Twitter chat will help you understand how privacy is good for business and the steps your organization can take to respect privacy, safeguard data and enable trust.
  • Advocate privacy awareness training in your organization

For More Information

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Michelle Dennedy

No Longer with Cisco