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Privacy and Technology – Innovative Partners

3:20pm 17 September 2010

Marie Shroff
Marie Shroff

Privacy Commissioner

“Privacy by Design” is an exciting and innovative discipline, giving us a shared path to start the next 50 year journey. It is not about compliance, but about meeting real world expectations.

Consumers are increasingly aware that their information is becoming a valuable commodity, and that it is being snapped up in a myriad of ways across the web and offline. Consumers want to be in control of their information – and they have the right to be.

Recently there have been several high profile examples of consumer backlash to products where control over personal information has been taken away from the individual (changes to Facebook settings, Google’s Buzz launch, etc). Privacy by Design can help developers and their customers avoid these traps.

The way a system handles personal information needs to be a forethought not an afterthought – otherwise you or your client could be facing costly add-ons or design changes to meet consumer expectations. Privacy by Design helps you and your client to think about how you handle information, and what the consumer’s expectations would be – and then design this into the system build.

Privacy by Design is an activity that both developers and their clients should be turning their minds to as they design, build, or modify systems. So developers, and other IT service providers, have a professional obligation to inform and guide their clients through this process.

Privacy by Design is part of the NZCS Professional Knowledge Curriculum, and this presentation will include practical advice on how IT professionals can think about this important concept.

About Marie Shroff

Marie Shroff was appointed to the independent statutory position of Privacy Commissioner in late 2003. Her responsibilities include independent comment on significant personal information policies and issues, providing opinions on privacy complaints made against government and business, monitoring government data matching and promoting good personal information handling practices in New Zealand.

From 1987 – 2003 Marie Shroff held the position of Secretary of the Cabinet and Clerk of the Executive Council. As Secretary/Clerk she was responsible for the operation of Cabinet, the Executive Council, and Government House, and for related constitutional advice. Throughout her 16 years as Secretary of the Cabinet she undertook and implemented major reforms of policy and practices in these areas of responsibility.

Marie Shroff was responsible for guiding the Cabinet Office and Government House through the transition from a first past the post electoral system to proportional representation and coalition government in New Zealand. As Secretary/Clerk she worked with four Governors-General, six Prime Ministers, and governments of various parties.

Earlier in her career Marie Shroff worked in foreign affairs, teaching, journalism and the public service. From 1986 to 1987 she led an official group managing the corporatisation of nine major state agencies in New Zealand. From 1980 – 82 she was seconded to the UK Cabinet Office.

Marie Shroff has published speeches and articles on government and constitutional issues, and on privacy issues. She was awarded an Australia/New Zealand Foundation Fellowship in 1995 and a Chevening Fellowship in 2002, and is a member of the Board of the Equal Opportunities Trust. Marie represented New Zealand on the Board of Directors of the Commonwealth Association for Public Administration and Management (CAPAM) from 2005 to June 2009.

She was awarded a CVO in 1995 and a CNZM in January 2004.