Defining data privacy in a globally connected world

By 2020, researchers estimate that 20 billion devices will be connected to the Internet, taking advantage of technologies that bring us closer together and big data insights that could change the way we solve societal problems. At the same time, governments, companies and advocates are struggling to understand this new environment and establish the right regulations and laws to protect people’s privacy online. It’s a critical question – how do we enable a magical time in technology while providing the protections that allow the people to genuinely trust that their private information will be kept private.

Earlier this month, Microsoft Deputy General Counsel Horacio Gutierrez reflected on this question at Techonomy Policy, a conference focused on the intersection between technology developments and policy, and the influence of technology on our economic and social landscape.

Gutierrez emphasized that privacy needs to be considered within both local and global frameworks.  He urged countries around the world to strike a proper balance between the legitimate need to ensure the internet is governed by the rule of law – so that, for example, users are protected from deceptive and criminal activity – and the need for the internet at its core to remain an open and free medium where innovation can continue to thrive.  He went on to discuss why Microsoft is so active on this issue of data protection, stating that technology users want products from companies they can trust. “Our reputation for how we deal with that data is what’s going to allow us to be successful in the future.”

Techonomy recently posted video and transcript from the panel, titled “Privacy Collides with Data in a Transparent World.”

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