It’s been my pleasure to work alongside the Centre for Information Policy Leadership (CIPL) for over a decade to advocate for privacy to be respected as a fundamental human right and managed by organizations as a business imperative. CIPL works with industry leaders, regulators, and policymakers to deliver leading practices and solutions for privacy and responsible data use around the world.

Our organizations share the belief that privacy is key to trust and provides a critical competitive advantage for those who get it right. As privacy professionals, we live and breathe the importance of privacy every day and understand its value. We must help business leaders and other key stakeholders recognize and realize data privacy’s true worth and invest appropriately — beyond just meeting legal or compliance requirements.

We’re excited today to share this new, jointly-published research report Business Benefits of Investing in Data Privacy Management Programs. This report offers insights into the material business benefits that organizations are realizing from the time, monetary, and resource investments they have applied to building their Data Privacy Management Programs (DPMPs).

Here are some of the key findings:

Customers want accountability. While organizations are expected to meet their legal, compliance, and data security requirements, customers also demand organizations to be responsible stewards of their personal data. DPMPs not only enable organizations to gain a competitive edge, they empower them to earn and grow confidence and trust in the business.

Significant benefits from investing in DPMPs. Risk mitigation and compliance benefits, like avoiding regulatory scrutiny and fines, minimizing breaches, and evading damage to reputation, are among the most substantial benefits experienced by organizations that implement a DPMP. Other tangible benefits include greater agility, operational efficiency, and making the organization more attractive to investors.

Strong, attractive returns from DPMPs. More than half of organizations surveyed experienced at least $1 million in benefit from investing in privacy over the past year, with 28% realizing over $10 million in benefit.

Widespread Use of Privacy Maturity Models. Most organizations are using some form of a privacy maturity model to show accountability, including the CIPL Accountability Framework, ISO standards, Generally Accepted Privacy Principles, and the NIST Privacy Framework, among others. And CIPL members had an average score of 4.13 out of 5 with respect to implementing the seven elements of organizational accountability as described in the report.

There is considerable interest in further understanding the value DPMPs bring to their organization. Discussions about privacy and how DPMPs positively impact organizations will continue to be an increasing area of focus for corporate leadership, including the C-suite and at the Board level.

These findings offer valuable information and perspective for those building and operationalizing privacy. We’ll continue to research and share other qualitative and quantitative evidence that highlights privacy’s growing priority and value for organizations and the individuals they serve.

Check out this report Business Benefits of Investing in Data Privacy Management Programs and more related privacy research on consumer and organizational perspectives on the Cisco Trust Center.

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Harvey Jang

Vice President, Deputy General Counsel, and Chief Privacy Officer Cisco

Cisco Legal