The development of technology has outpaced the development of the law. Nothing suggests that this will change in years to come. New technologies will be introduced to the market and often be widely adopted long before their potential privacy implications are even appreciated, let alone controlled for through law, policy, or other means. Consequently, it’s hard to gaze into a crystal ball and extract some coherent vision of the future of privacy and technology.
Nonetheless, it’s important that we try. Legal and regulatory changes can often have significant consequences for technology, including potentially requiring such major changes to the operation of a product that it’s no longer a viable business proposition. In some cases, just the changing societal conceptions of privacy values may drive consumers away from your product if it’s perceived as not privacy-protective enough (even though it might still be within the requirements of the law). Designing a product that anticipates these potential developments by having a flexible privacy architecture that can adapt with relative ease will prove a significant edge in a competitive technology marketplace.
But how might law and technology change in the next few years, and what can you do to keep up with it?
Privacy itself is frequently declared dead, prompting those of us in the privacy field to trot out some version of Mark Twain’s timeless rejoinder to erroneous reports of ...