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Make the ‘culture of privacy’ a priority!

By Henry J. Schumacher (, President of the European Innovation, Technology and Science Center Foundation (EITSC).

As we all know, all organisations are collecting data as part of their business directing processes. What we unfortunately also know is that some of the big tech companies around the world know more about us than we want them to know. What is even worse is that these big tech companies are selling our personal data which can easily be bought by “bad” organisations that are misusing our personal information.

Therefore, it cannot be reiterated enough: personal information is property that belongs to us, which companies must handle with care.

That makes privacy compliance a much more complex challenge. Companies need to think more about what’s best for the consumer as we handle personal data, as well as how to accommodate the consumer and the rights he or she might exercise under various privacy regulations.

Make culture of privacy and security a watchword

In short, businesses need to make a “culture of privacy” a priority, in much the same way as anti-corruption activists like the Integrity Initiative and partners stressed the importance of a culture of compliance in the 2010s. A culture of privacy and security must be the watchword now.

It forces deeper changes in business processes, policies, and corporate awareness of privacy—and any time we talk about changes in policy, procedure, and corporate culture, the compliance function is crucial to that.

Now let’s get more practical.


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