Privacy is a hot topic and will remain a crucial concern in the cyber security landscape. With countless data breaches all around the world, it’s important to do your part and keep your privacy in check when it comes to information held about you in third party databases and online.  

If you’re an organisation that collects and stores the personal data of employees or customers - you should be aware of the obligations around privacy regulations and champion the principles of transparency, accountability, and security.

Transparency: Clarity is key

A very important part of maintaining trust in privacy is an organisation’s transparency. Organisations collect data—lots of it—from website analytics to customer information. When this data includes personal or sensitive information (such as identifying, financial or health information), the organisation's duty is to make it crystal clear in how it’s handled, for what reasons and how to be removed. Transparency is not just about having a privacy policy; it's about ensuring that policy is understandable and accessible and adheres to the Australian or New Zealand Privacy Principles.

Here are the critical aspects to consider for achieving transparency:

  • Clear communication: Your privacy policy should be free of jargon, straightforward, and easily accessible (linked in your footer navigation for example) to all users and customers.
  • Staff education: Everyone in your organisation should be aware of how to handle personal data responsibly. This includes training on the privacy policies and the importance of data protection.
  • Design with Privacy in Mind: Any new tool, product, or service that involves data should be designed considering privacy. This means privacy settings should be set at their highest by default and personal information should be protected from the start.

Accountability: More than just compliance, it’s leadership

Accountability in privacy means taking proactive steps to demonstrate that your organisation “walks the walk” when it comes to the protection of personal data. Privacy isn't just a legal obligation; it's an important part of your corporate ethics, and one that influences consumer trust and reputation.  

To show accountability:

  • Leadership involvement: A high standard of privacy must be a priority at the leadership level, influencing policies and practices throughout the organisation.
  • Handling breaches: If a data breach occurs, responding swiftly and effectively is essential. This includes notifying affected individuals and taking steps to prevent future incidents.
  • Managing Third Party Risks: Using third party services does not transfer the responsibility for data protection. It's crucial to manage these partnerships closely to maintain privacy standards.

Security: Securing personal information

The security of personal data is about more than just preventing unauthorised access; it's about ensuring that data is handled responsibly throughout its lifecycle. Robust data security helps mitigate risks and protects against both internal and external threats.

Key security measures include:

  • Data governance: Implement strong governance to manage data effectively across all systems.
  • Technical solutions: Utilise technologies like Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) and email filtering to enhance the security of sensitive information.
  • Regular security awareness training: Continual education about potential cyber threats and proper data handling should be a staple for all staff members.
  • Security processes: Design processes and procedures to minimise the risk of human error

Embracing the principles of transparency, accountability, and security is not purely about compliance but about building a trustworthy relationship with your customers and community.

If you would like a confidential in-depth chat about how we can help you with your security awareness training needs, please reach out to our team today or browse our data privacy courses in our course catalogue.