Security + Privacy = Freedom and Prosperity

Privacy & Security Pros
Privacy by Design Creator Cavoukian Announces International Advocacy Council

     Ann Cavoukian, three-term Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario, Canada will form a new international council to advocate and set standards for privacy by design, she told Bloomberg BNA May 4 (129 PRA, 7/7/14).
     ‘‘I think the time has come where we have to get people all around the world to join in spreading the word that you can have privacy and security, privacy and public safety, privacy and business interests,’’ Cavoukian said. ‘‘I want to change the prevailing zero-sum mindset’’ that pits the interest of privacy versus the interest of security.
     The International Council on Global Privacy and Security: By Design will work with companies, national privacy commissioners and technology professionals to educate the public and raise awareness for privacy by design.
     Privacy by design is an approach to technology design that embeds privacy-enhancing measures into technology at the point of design and production, and sells to consumers, technology with strong default privacy settings.
     Government surveillance and requests for access to communications after terror attacks is part of what led Cavoukian to launch this council.
     ‘‘Each time there is a terrorist attack, the tide rises on the part of law enforcement and others, provoking unbelievable fear, which is understandable, saying that we

need to give up our privacy for public safety,’’ Cavoukian said.
     ‘‘We need to do it now before the next terrorist incident. I’m fearful that we may go down a road that we may not be able to change later on,’’ she said.
     The Council’s Objectives. Cavoukian wants the council to work with companies and commissioners to demonstrate to the world how privacy by design can be accomplished, particularly with a view to future technologies such as artificial intelligence and machine learning. Tacking privacy tools onto technology after the fact isn’t as effective as baking it into the code and making it an essential piece of the data architecture, allowing it to grow with the program, she said.
     Cavoukian set out three goals for the council:
     - educate politicians, businesses, government, media and the public that systems can and must be engineered to protect both privacy and security;
     - create policy templates that can show how privacy can be applied to technologies in the digital age; and
     - foster technology innovation in academic institutions around the world to foster privacy and public safety, as well as privacy and business interests, such as big data and data analytics, without sacrificing either privacy or security.
     Cavoukian served three terms as the information privacy commissioner of Ontario, Canada from 1997 to 2014, and is widely-recognized as the primary creator of the privacy by design concept.

"They who can give up essential liberty to obtain
a little temporary safety, deserve neither
liberty nor safety."

- Benjamin Franklin

Why Should You Care?

Consider this a call to action. This is the time to dispel the commonly-held view of zero-sum which mistakenly posits that you can only have gains in one interest at the expense of another: You can only have greater public safety if you have less privacy – increases in one interest (security), always against losses of another interest (privacy). Not only is this a flawed proposition, but it is extremely harmful in that it will lead to the erosion of our freedoms and the loss of innovation and prosperity.

This zero-sum, win/lose mindset is what we wish to dispel, and by joining our International Council on Global Privacy and Security, by Design (GPSbyDesign) you will commit to abandoning such messaging in favor of doubly-enabling, win/win messaging that advances the view that you can have both privacy AND security, or privacy AND business interests, in unison. This is referred to as “positive-sum” because it envisions you having two positive gains, in two areas which may at first be considered to be competing, but can in fact both co-exist. The dated either/or paradigm of zero-sum is considered by many tech experts and cryptographers to present as false dichotomies. You can in fact have multiple interests embedded into design, provided that this is envisioned proactively, in a positive-sum manner. In “Operationalizing Privacy by Design” we demonstrated in multiple papers written with the leaders of industry and technology that you could in fact have numerous interests offered in tandem, not one to the exclusion of the other. It may take some creative, out-of-the-box thinking, but innovation abounds when the challenge is presented, resulting in greater prosperity.

Surveillance is the antithesis of privacy, leading to reductions in creativity and innovation. Surveillance inhibits one’s cognitive bandwidth and leads in the opposite direction of blue-sky-thinking. It restricts and confines one’s performance to that which is known – confining one to the present, as opposed to that which may be envisioned in the future. Please join me in reaching for the stars and creating a world where both privacy and security can not only co-exist, but lead to greater developments: innovation and prosperity can abound, with our freedoms remaining unchecked. Let that be the world we leave for our children and future generations.

If we are to survive as a free and prosperous society, we must replace dated zero-sum thinking with positive-sum advances, which will allow us to move forward with building innovative systems that integrate both privacy AND security/public safety, allowing us to achieve doubly-enabling solutions. In order for this to be achieved, massive education and raising of awareness will be required. Please join us in this effort by adding your names to our new venture.