January 28th is Data Privacy Day – A very public celebration of personal data privacy awareness and education


As more organizations and companies collect and access user’s digital information, the details on just how that data is handled and where it is distributed becomes extremely important—especially as we become an increasingly global hyper-connected community with the Internet of Things (and people) entering our daily lives, and data flowing through and among devices, the Internet and the cloud.

On January 28th get connected to Data Privacy Day 2015 by sharing best practices, events, or your own personal data privacy story via social channels using the hashtag #DPD15. To join the IEEE Standards Association (IEEE SA) conversations add the tag #IEEEPriv. Take a moment to review your own personal data protection strategies and habits or discuss data privacy practices within your organizations, your peers, and your family and friends.

What is Data Privacy Day?
An annual international celebration held on January 28 to raise awareness, educate, and promote best practices around data privacy and protection throughout the world, Data Privacy Day is dedicated to helping people understand how to manage the flow of their data online and in digital products, such as mobile apps.

Why is Data Privacy Day Important?
Data Privacy Day seeks to raise the collective awareness of our experiences in a more connected life. As we use more and more devices enabled with apps the collect more and more personal information, concerns around personal data privacy are growing exponentially. Technology deployment and market adoption rely upon a basic trust in the tools and systems developed. Data Privacy is a critical consideration when seeking to innovate technology for the benefit of humanity. Everyday users are more likely to embrace technology that performs in a predictable way. These types of users instill a basic trust in adopted technologies. The same users are likely to move away from technologies that do not demonstrate predictably trustworthy behavior. General confidence is a key to user engagement and this confidence is part of what makes Data Privacy Day important.

How to Participate in Data Privacy Day?
It’s easy to participate. No financial commitment is required. While information sharing is actually part of the growing data privacy protection challenge, social tools also enable learning opportunities. One of the best ways to participate is by sharing best practices and stories via social networking, blogging or via peer networks. These resources provide strategic insights that may apply to a company, a social organization, and even one’s daily life.

Opportunities for Organizational Collaboration
Recognizing a day of global Data Privacy awareness provides a unique opportunity to connect individuals, groups, and communities toward information sharing and potential collaborations.

How is IEEE Community of Organizations Participating?
The mission of the IEEE is to foster technological innovation and excellence for the benefit of humanity. The IEEE collaborative global community of members and technical communities houses an impressive depth of technical expertise and knowledge on privacy-related topics. Below are some resources for your reference and use.

  • The IEEE Security and Privacy Symposium takes place from May 18-20 in San Jose California. The event provides great opportunities to learn and share privacy and security experiences with peers and industry experts.
  • The IEEE Security and Privacy Magazine brings the work and research of privacy and security professionals to the forefront providing an innovative educational resource.
  • The IEEE has major technology initiatives touching the topics of privacy, big data and IoT.
  • In 2014 IEEE SA hosted a series of Privacy virtual hangouts, including a Data Privacy Day hangout bringing together respected privacy professionals from around the world including Dr Ann Cavoukian who is the author of Privacy by Design.
  • The founders and signatories of OpenStand continue to focus around issues regarding a paradigm of principles for open standards development. This collaboration plays a key role as the development of industry standards with alignment to OpenStand principles helps to foster industry, partner, and user engagement and confidence.
  • The IEEE SA participates as a Trustee of the Kantara Initiative where they share experiences, leverage industry knowledge, and convene industry professionals with a specific focus on open-standards paradigm aligned digital identity technologies and policy.

Future Outlook
As technologies become more intertwined in our daily lives and relationships, personal data collection becomes pervasive. Technology and service innovations bring exciting opportunities for humanity. Governance continues to evolve, seeking to appropriately address new scenarios in alignment with local and global cultures and contexts. Significant innovations pose an array of new risks, but the same innovations offers many opportunities to improve human experiences, relationships and lives. We invite all to take a moment to think about personal data privacy, share stories, and become more educated about data privacy issues so that we can work together to foster a better tomorrow.

About the Author:
Joni Brennan is the IEEE SA Technology Evangelist for Internet Identity and Trust focusing on issues of governance, policy, and technology development that touch digital Identity, Personally Identifiable Information, and Trust Services. Joni is a regular speaker and facilitator at premier identity and privacy events including: RSA, European Identity and Cloud Conference, IRM Summit, Privacy Identity Innovation, TSCP Symposium, Cloud Identity Summit, and more.

With over a decade of experience in the fields of identity and privacy Joni participates in international organizations and industry standards committees, including: IEEE, OECD ITAC, ISOC, OASIS SSTC, ISO SC27 WG5, and ITU-T SG17 Q6. She previously served as the US NSTIC IDESG Trust Framework WG Chair and has provided testimony for Trusted Identity and Access Management systems to the US ONC HITSP.

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