Privacy programs and information management programs seem like they’re always at odds with one another. While the former is focused on limiting access to information to prevent data breaches or unauthorized access by bad actors, the latter is making sure the correct people can securely access their information to do their job.

While this argument is a tad reductive, the goals of privacy and information programs can often seem like they’re paradoxically at odds.

By taking a proactive approach and implementing some best practices, you can bridge the gap between your privacy and information programs. In this blog post, we’ll share some tips on how to do just that.

Privacy Programs Versus Information Management

Is your organization’s privacy program equipped for today’s environment?

Between CPRA, GDPR, and dozens of other regions following close behind with similar legislation, a strong, effective privacy program is no longer an option but a necessity. According to Statista, this year “it is projected that a total of 65 percent of the global population will have personal data covered under privacy regulations.” With the average data breach costing organizations an average of $4.24 million dollars, many organizations are doing everything they can to prevent unauthorized access to data.

At the same time, today’s information management programs need to enable secure collaboration between employees. A recent survey by the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans found that 74% of employers now offer hybrid work arrangements. This means that information management programs must be flexible and adaptable for whatever working arrangement your organization is utilizing.

Balancing Privacy and Information Management

Many organizations are stuck in the mode of dealing with after-the-fact compliance. This is when organizations experience a data breach or other privacy law violations and then take steps toward strengthening their privacy compliance and security programs.

The key to balancing these two programs is to proactively incorporate privacy into your information program so that violating best practices is more difficult than adhering to them.

This relies on a concept known as Privacy by Design.

What is Privacy by Design?

Privacy by Design (PbD) is an idea that dates to the 1990s to address the speed at which information and communication technologies change. By 2010, PbD was adopted as the standard by the International Assembly of Privacy Commissioners and Data Protection Authorities.

It’s a concept that seeks to proactively embed privacy into the design and operation of IT systems, networked infrastructure, and business processes, which includes the larger records and information program as well.

7 Foundational Principles of Privacy by Design

To develop more comprehensive privacy protection protocols, one should reference the 7 Foundational Principles of Privacy by Design. These principles include:

  • Proactive not Reactive – Privacy should be incorporated proactively, not just in response to data breaches.
  • Privacy as the Default Setting – By default, privacy should be set to the highest level requiring a user to opt out if appropriate.
  • Privacy Embedded into Design – Privacy shouldn’t be an afterthought.
  • Full Functionality – Positive Sum, not Zero-Sum: Technologies and services need to protect user privacy without restricting what a user needs to do to complete a task— not just protect privacy.
  • End-to-End Security – Without security, privacy is a moot point.
  • Visibility and Transparency – Don’t make users wade through a lengthy term of service to understand how their information is used. Keep it simple, keep it accessible.
  • Respect for User Privacy – Make it user-friendly while also protecting the user’s information.


Privacy and security risks are best managed by embedding principles directly into your information management program. At the same time, privacy will continue to be a top concern and organizations must continually assess privacy risks in terms of alignment with privacy law and controls.

Privacy by design is key to any data privacy strategy and is the best way to ensure that your information management program isn’t operating in a silo from your privacy infrastructure.

For more information on bridging the gap between privacy and information programs, check out our whitepaper, Data Privacy for the Information Professional.

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