By Peter Cullen, General Manager, Trustworthy Computing

More and more, we are becoming a data-driven society, in which governments and industry have access to increasing volumes of information through consumer interactions online. A recent White House report on “Big Data” demonstrates the broad recognition of related privacy concerns which, if not managed correctly, may outweigh the benefits we can derive from this wealth of information.

In 2014, the World Economic Forum’s (WEF’s) Rethinking Personal Data initiative has identified the need to establish trustworthiness for personal data ecosystems. Its latest report: A New Lens for Strengthening Trust, is focused on creating sustainable data-driven ecosystems in the current environment through three primary principles: meaningful transparency, reinforced accountability, and empowered individuals. In a related blog post, Paul Mitchell, General Manager, Technology Policy Group at Microsoft, discusses the report and the potential role of context in establishing trust.

At Microsoft, we have been focused on driving a global dialogue aimed at evolving current privacy models. As we examine present day online privacy practices, there is growing support to adopt policy frameworks and mechanisms that ensure individuals can navigate the online ecosystem with meaningful and appropriate privacy protections in-place; a model that increases the focus on the responsible use of data by accountable organizations.

Governments, civil society groups and industry need to collectively identify the best way to evolve privacy in our increasingly data-centric world, in ways that derive value from the information for societal benefit while preserving and enhancing consumer privacy protections.