Digital Privacy: Ethical Practices in the Data Age

I had the privilege to host and moderate the digital privacy panel at Henley Club with Ivan Chua. Joining us on the panel were four privacy-conscious researchers, experts, and consultants: Dr Vanessa Teague, Ellen Broad, Gabor Szathmari, and Prof Dali Kaafar.

Many threads of digital privacy were had. I took away some key points as below:

  1. We need to be transparent about how we anonymise, encrypt & handle data. Publish the method ahead for critique.
     
  2. Data is a messy—'thing'—that everyone talks about, but has different meanings. For example, open access versus closed, specific access
     
  3. Consumers should be able to request from companies what they have on them. For that to be useful, data need to be in small digest forms
     
  4. Being transparent in data sharing / analysis practices also helps others to learn by example. You can also learn from public inspections.
     
  5. Ethical practice is a fluid thing. Everyone has a different reaction to the same way their data is shared.
     
  6. Pay attention to context: you can infer items about someone with small info, even when they haven't given you anything new about them.
     
  7. Differential privacy: the maths to maximise accuracy of data while minimising the chance of its records being re-identified.

Got tips on digital privacy? Feel free to reach out.