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Genetec Highlights Top Data Privacy Practices for Physical Security Leaders

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Genetec has shared a comprehensive set of data protection best practices to help physical security leaders protect privacy, safeguard data, and enable trust without compromising security. This initiative comes as a response to the escalating importance of data security in an increasingly interconnected digital landscape. By prioritising privacy, organizations can effectively contribute to a safer digital and physical landscape for all.

“Organisations should never have to choose between data privacy and security. By equipping physical security professionals with these essential strategies, Genetec is spearheading a paradigm shift towards a more resilient and trustworthy security ecosystem. It is an ongoing process, and organizations should regularly update protocols, stay informed and continuously educate their teams on best practices”, said Firas Jadalla, Regional Director – Middle East, Turkey and Africa (META) Genetec.

Genetec recommends organizations ensure their security systems respect data privacy by:
Collecting and Storing Only What You Need: A fundamental rule of data security is to collect and store only essential information. The potential impact of a security breach can be reduced by minimizing stored data. It’s important to regularly review and audit data and dispose of unnecessary information responsibly.

Limiting Access to Sensitive Data: Enhancing data security involves restricting access to sensitive information. Genetec recommends implementing data-sharing best practices, such as removing personally identifiable information to safeguard individual privacy. Techniques for anonymizing personal information while retaining its utility include:

  1. Randomisation by adding noise to numerical values such as an individual’s age or income)
  2. Pseudonymisation such as replacing names with unique identifiers
  3. Tokenisation such as replacing credit card numbers with tokens that have no direct correlation to the original numbers
  4. Generalisation such as converting exact birthdates to age ranges
  5. Data masking shows only the first few digits of a phone number

Ensuring Privacy without Compromising Evidence: By making use of technologies such as KiwiVision Privacy Protector, organisations can automatically anonymise images of people, so they can continue to survey surveillance footage while respecting privacy. This technology also offers an additional layer of security that ensures only authorized users can “unlock” and view unmasked footage while maintaining an audit trail.

Being Transparent and Getting User Consent: Building trust through transparency and user consent is essential. It’s important to communicate with users about the data collection process, promoting informed decisions. Organizations should also gain explicit consent before collecting and processing data.

Choosing a Reliable Data Storage Provider: Organisations should select a data storage provider carefully, ensuring a clear understanding of data storage, handling, and sharing practices. If using third-party services, organisations should demand strong security measures and reliable data handling practices. Establish who “owns” any data stored in the cloud, and any rights/privileges associated with the use or disclosure of any information.

Establishing Strong Policies: To ensure long-term data safety, Genetec recommends putting in place robust policies across the organization. Enforcing a transparent chain of custody through technology, such as a Digital Evidence Management System (DEMS), ensures accountability and traceability at every stage of the data lifecycle.

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Cyber Security

Is Consent the Gateway to Ethical Data Usage Practices?

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Every tech company under the sun is grappling with data privacy and protection policies and laws. However, consent is crucial when it comes to data collection and processing. Having the user’s consent to use their data is imperative. While securing the data after collection is also important, using customer data without their consent causes more serious issues. Without obtaining consent from the user, any data that you use for your business falls under the unlawful use of data regulations.

Users of the well-known platform Glassdoor, which allows individuals to anonymously review their employers, allege that the site collected and linked their names to their profiles without their permission. Glassdoor users have expressed alarm, and the issue has been widely featured on social media and news-sharing sites. They fear that their anonymity could be compromised if data about them is collected and added to their profiles.

The issue here boils down to a single word: consent.

The gray area of obtaining consent
Organizations can knowingly or unknowingly exploit users’ personal data without proper knowledge of data privacy. It is not enough just to get consent from users; explicit consent is required. This includes ensuring the user selects checkboxes during the signup process, enters their email address, authorizes receiving marketing emails and newsletters, and grants the app permission to track user data in specific situations.

But when it comes to verbal consent, there is ambiguity. The GDPR accepts verbal consent but requires written or recorded proof of the consent given. The GDPR states that, “when requested by the data subject, the information may be provided orally, provided that the identity of the data subject is proven by other means.” Therefore, it is better to record or have written proof of verbal consent; one must not assume or misunderstand that verbal consent only includes oral consent.

Often, there is less visibility of data usage for customers. More often than not, customers do not know what they are giving consent for or how their data will be used. Let’s take the case of location data sharing.

Location data can show if someone visited an abortion clinic or a cancer treatment center. People usually want to keep this type of information private and not share it with companies or third parties. When consent is given without knowing what it is for, the act of giving or obtaining consent becomes meaningless.

Why consent is important in ethical data practices
Although you are legally required to obtain the user’s consent to process their data, there is also such a thing as the ethical use of data. When you take measures to protect your customers’ data beyond what the law requires, it promotes trust among your customers.

People value privacy and appreciate brands that prioritize data privacy. Let’s say a consumer is given the option to choose between two brands: one with no privacy features and another that advocates for privacy with built-in privacy features. Which do you think the customer will choose? Obviously, the latter.

Understanding a company’s data privacy policy is crucial to 85% of consumers—even before they make a purchase, a global study determined. Equally as important, 40% of individuals have changed brands after discovering that a company failed to protect customer data adequately, according to the McKinsey Global Survey on Digital Trust.

This is why tech companies go out of their way to demonstrate the privacy features they offer and how user consent is prioritized in these features.

In a way, customers prioritizing consent compels companies to integrate ethical data privacy policies into their systems. But it’s time companies realize that consent is the backbone of data privacy regulations and take customer consent seriously, not just to avoid hefty fines, but to also value the customer’s choice and their right to privacy.

A final word
Organizations worldwide are facing issues with data privacy. What is important when trying to protect your customers’ data is to realize the role customer consent plays. This helps organizations develop features and draft policies with the customer’s consent in mind and to effectively communicate to the customers why they are seeking consent. Without this step, data privacy becomes compromised. So, both organizations and customers need to grasp why consent matters and advocate for the ethical processing of data.

ManageEngine is a division of Zoho Corporation that provides comprehensive on-premises and cloud-native IT and security operations management solutions for global organizations and managed service providers. ManageEngine strongly believes in privacy by design and continuously advocates for user privacy. Established and emerging enterprises—including nine of every 10 Fortune 100 organizations—rely on ManageEngine’s real-time IT management tools to ensure the optimal performance of their IT infrastructure. Learn more about ManageEngine’s comprehensive suite of IT management solutions here.

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