TrustArc Blog

Guest Post: Make Privacy a Strategic Asset for your Startup

June 06, 2012

Rob Banagale
Co-founder + CEO @ Gliph
@jetsetter

Image Credit

Startup accelerators are sprouting up across the globe with more seed-backed companies coming to market than ever before. Every startup is looking for a way to differentiate itself from competitors as it looks toward its first significant round of funding.

The best founders will recognize the rapidly shifting societal and legislative views toward privacy as both a disruption and an opportunity. While privacy evangelists (and even some mainstream publications) have been beating the privacy drum for some time, many founders nonetheless put it on the backburner, sometimes purposefully and sometimes inadvertently.

By doing this, many founders are failing to take advantage of the strategic asset that privacy can be for their startups. Privacy is one significant way of further differentiating your offering from competitors when pitching potential investors and venture capitalists (VC).

Begin with the Basics
In mobile technology, the word “design” is regularly applied to the visual styling of an application; how closely the app conforms to Apple’s Human Interface Guidelines; or even the overall user experience gained from interacting with the software. But don’t be fooled: the principles of Privacy By Design extend to the technical architecture and business of your startup. With careful application of the principles, you can position your company to reap the benefits of a new source of value creation. It starts with a privacy policy, and no, you don’t necessarily need a lawyer to write one. There are good, free privacy policy generators out there (like the one provided by TRUSTe, see here) that can help you create a mobile-friendly privacy policy.

Pro Tip: Prepare for tough questions about privacy by reading Ann Cavoukian’s 7 Foundational Principles of Privacy by Design and discussing them with your leadership team.

Hire with Privacy In Mind
When I hire an engineer, I begin asking about their feelings on privacy early in the interview process. Emphasizing privacy discussions during interviews has the dual-effect of revealing the prospective employee’s ethics and integrity and projecting to everyone the importance of privacy in the company. I’ve found that by discussing privacy issues with employees, I’m likely to get a better read on how (and if) they will contribute to the development of privacy as an asset for my company.

Pro Tip: Build a stronger team by discussing the concept of privacy while interviewing potential employees. Read more “Guest Post: Make Privacy a Strategic Asset for your Startup”

TRUSTe’s Privacy-by-Design Guidelines

March 02, 2012

Kevin Trilli | TRUSTe
VP Product
@squawkt22

Joanne Furtsch| TRUSTe
Dir. Product Policy
@privacygeek 

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The concept of privacy-by-design was first introduced by the Canadian Privacy Commissioner Ann Cavoukian as early as in 1990s. Since then, the importance of it in business has only increased over time. Almost every week, we see companies of all sizes in the news because of some privacy issue.  this often times creates brand and reputational damage for these companieseven when the facts are not as alleged.

Assuming most companies are not intentionally doing things wrong, what is happening?  The privacy landscape is changing.  A combination of governmental, media and academic pressure is changing the way privacy is monitored by the community at large.  There are now experts that are proactively looking for violations and using the mainstream media to get their message out quickly in a way to evoke change.  It is no longer the average consumer you need to consider in your risk calculation. Read more “TRUSTe’s Privacy-by-Design Guidelines”