Privacy Staffing, Data Security, And Pokemon Go. Gotta Catch ‘Em All

Posted by Jeff Pelliccio on Aug 4, 2016 9:00:00 AM

In ICS insights

Imagine you’re walking down the street looking for Pikachu, using location services and cellular data; suddenly, your screen goes blank and your data is wiped. Someone has hacked your phone. Your personal information (not to mention your Pokemon avatar) has been compromised. In today’s age, Pokemon GO is ubiquitous, existing only with the help of our smartphones, the excited conversations about it, and the information we provide to play the game. It is a virtual reality game, but its consequences are very real. The whole concept depends on private ID and location data, two things that can be easily exploited. And now you’re still staring at your blank screen, wondering what just happened?

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What if this scenario became a reality? What are the consequences? Who would be responsible for the data loss and your privacy?  Politicians and Cybersecurity experts here in the United States and abroad have been debating the same questions for years. One comprehensive answer, finally, takes the form of legislation: the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). It’s not a panacea for all our Digital Age complications, but it is a huge step forward in privacy and data-security law.

The detailed rules in the GDPR primarily focus on the role of companies in protecting user information. And though it was created to protect citizens, its regulatory reach will be worldwide and it will benefit users in the United States. The GDPR requires institutions to have Privacy / Data-Security individuals’ onsite meaning privacy staffing needs are already on the rise at forward looking companies. Privacy Staffing combined with a solid and sufficient Privacy program is one of the more important steps that one can take to avoid hefty penalty’s and fines.

The GDPR, will especially be a huge influence on compliance and increase the need for privacy staffing. It was passed by the EU in order to replace dusty directives that were no longer relevant. In order to protect the identification information of EU citizens and other users alike, the GDPR is designed to legally recognize new technologies and to establish laws for solutions to enhance cybersecurity. This regulation is now making its way towards the United Stated and will likely go into effect sometime in 2018.

 If a company’s “core activities” involve “special categories” of data- which would certainly include your sign in information you entered in the Pokemon app- then they are required by the GDPR to assign a data protection officer. Companies like Nintendo have no option to “opt-out” of privacy staffing. They will have to comply.  Data protection officers in all companies are necessary to advise privacy professionals and monitor legal compliance.

What can be done? Investing in protection- especially investing in internal privacy staffing practices- will help mitigate losses. Sure, betting against anything happening to the security of an organization could work if there are no actual attacks, but if a data breach does indeed happen and security folds, you want to be prepared as possible and having a well-staffed privacy department is the logical answer.

 To help our clients mitigate these potential consequences, we are growing and continue to grow our already extensive Legal, Compliance and Privacy Staffing network by being on the offensive rather than being reactionary. By helping you acquire the proper technology tools and the right people on your staff, our Legal & Compliance team can help you move forward confidently in the digital economy.

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Who reads the fine print after downloading a new app? Most likely, the answer is close to zero people, but companies do not have the luxury of skimming over the details when it comes to data security. An expertise in privacy compliance is a specialized field that not everyone has the time and resources to learn. Using our extensive network, we can supply the right people to actually read and understand the fine print in new cybersecurity laws, specifically the GDPR.

ICS is here to help you and your company stay one step ahead of data protection laws with our privacy staffing services.