This week, AvePoint is the proud Platinum Sponsor of the annual Navigate conference produced by the International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP). Held in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, Navigate is a privacy dialogue between approximately 100 of the leading privacy experts from around the world. The goal of the conference is to turn the privacy dialogue “on its head” as thought leaders discuss and debate the future of privacy. AvePoint will be represented not only by members of our global risk management and compliance team, but also by key members of our executive leadership team representing our software standards and engineering teams, our global communications and marketing teams, and our financial services and customer services teams. AvePoint’s diverse company representation at this unique event truly demonstrates that now more than ever, strategies for privacy and protection of sensitive data must incorporate an interdisciplinary approach.
With privacy issues making front page headlines and the nightly news almost daily, I cannot recall a time over the twelve years I have been working in the privacy field when this conference would be more important than it is today. I’ve written several posts in the past cautioning readers about the unanticipated consequences to “over-sharing.” However, there is very little question, outside of potentially illegal activity, that you have a “right” (as an individual) to say almost anything you want – at least within the United States of America. My general rule of thumb is that if I am uncomfortable seeing something that I posted appear on the evening news, I won’t say it online. However, what about our online activities, purchases, and the websites we visit? How do we know what is being collected, stored, and saved to be revisited and reexamined some day in a different time and context, not only by the government, but also by the owners of the websites we use?
Further, the right to “say whatever you want” does not necessarily apply within a business context. Similar concerns may result in even more grave consequences for enterprise organizations that manage highly sensitive employee or customer data, proprietary information, or otherwise classified or protected materials.
AvePoint is helping our customers – be they consumers, businesses, or enterprise organizations – understand those risks through the use of automated technology. We recently introduced an online educational solution, Compliance Detector, which can be used to evaluate whether a website is collecting personal information and, if it is, doing so in a secure manner. This can be used by consumers or the website owners themselves to learn more about best practices for privacy protection online.
Many of our global enterprise business customers utilize AvePoint Compliance Guardian to manage and protect sensitive information within their collaboration systems. It is through the use of automated technologies in combination with policies, education, and measurement that organizations can appropriately balance collaboration and transparency with data protection and privacy.
Benjamin Franklin said, “Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote!” While there is no question that criminal activity should and must be punished in a free society, the lines between criminal and non-criminal speech must be defined and protected with absolute certainty. Consumers, companies, and government organizations must be proactively vigilant in measuring, monitoring, and enforcing appropriate protection of sensitive data online, internally, and as they share information through collaboration systems. Technology is an enabler to allow them to do so! AvePoint is proud to provide world class technologies to help support that mission. We look forward to connecting with everyone and participating in this constructive debate at Navigate this week.