Measuring Privacy Programs

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The risks of falling short on privacy compliance are greater than they have ever been.  New laws are going into effect around the world and in the states, enforcement agencies are exercising their authority and media organizations have teams devoted to identifying data protection failures. Legal judgments can run into the billions. And most important, consumers are increasingly empowered and active in responding when they believe their rights are trampled. Companies are hiring compliance staff and investing in privacy management tools and trying to become more sophisticated about measuring performance.

Businesses are increasingly monitoring quantitative and qualitative metrics to track, measure, and improve existing privacy programs. According to a Privacy Benchmark Study by Cisco, 93% of organizations currently track and provide analysis on at least one privacy metric, and 14% use five or more. These privacy metrics provide businesses and other organizations with key information that allows them to enhance trust and relationships with customers, ensure that personal data remains safe in data transfers, and confirm legal and regulatory privacy compliance.

FPF recently convened policy, academic, and industry privacy experts to discuss privacy metrics and their benefits, and published a report based on their discussions. Through these discussions, we learned that beyond demonstrating compliance, privacy metrics have emerged as a key measure to improve privacy program performance and maturity in terms of customer trust, risk mitigation, and business enablement. Privacy leaders can use these metrics to benchmark the maturity of their organization’s privacy program against its strategy and goals and

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