Firms start to tweak privacy polices in wake of new tech

security button on keyboard

As well as the Olympics, 2012 looks set to mark some serious changes as far as corporate

privacy polices are concerned.

More than half of companies will tweak the policies they already have to bring them up to date with new technologies, new computing models - such as cloud computing - new regulation and growing threats, according to analyst firm Gartner.

"In 2010, organisations saw new threats to personal data and privacy, while budgets for privacy protection remained under pressure," said Carsten Casper, research director at Gartner.

"Throughout 2011 and 2012, privacy programmes will remain chronically underfunded, requiring privacy officers to build and maintain strong relationships with corporate counsel, lines of business, HR, IT security, IT operations and application development teams. An established relationship with regulatory authorities and the privacy advocacy community will also be an advantage to them."

Organisations should be mindful of five key issues in relation to privacy, according to Gartner.

*Data breaches - both in terms of preparation and follow up.

*Location-based services and the ways in which they exploit personal information.

*Cloud computing - and the different laws that apply depending on where your data is hosted.

*The value of privacy - striking the balance between "not enough" and "too much" protection.

*Regulation - trying to keep pace with a changing regulatory environment without it causing distraction.

"The remaining 15-50 per cent of the privacy officer's time should be spent executing the privacy programme, managing relations, steering the privacy organisation, reviewing applications, revising policies, document controls, draft privacy terms for contracts, consulting with legal, responding to queries, following up on incidents and supervising the privacy training programme," Casper added.

The issues will be debated in more depth at Gartner's Security & Risk Management Summit, which will be held in London in September.

Maggie Holland

Maggie has been a journalist since 1999, starting her career as an editorial assistant on then-weekly magazine Computing, before working her way up to senior reporter level. In 2006, just weeks before ITPro was launched, Maggie joined Dennis Publishing as a reporter. Having worked her way up to editor of ITPro, she was appointed group editor of CloudPro and ITPro in April 2012. She became the editorial director and took responsibility for ChannelPro, in 2016.

Her areas of particular interest, aside from cloud, include management and C-level issues, the business value of technology, green and environmental issues and careers to name but a few.