Reading Time: 3 minutes
Few topics within the digital sphere spark more debate than data privacy. Still, it can be challenging for the vast majority who are not subject matter experts to grasp what data privacy exactly implies and entails. To get a clearer picture, we sat down with Lin Theres Hillestad, Director Privacy at Telenor Group, for Data Privacy Day 2022.
“Data privacy can be explained as the right to exercise control over how your personal data is collected and used. This is particularly important today due to the amount and complexity of personal data that is being collected almost every second of our life,” explains Hillestad.
She supports the saying from various experts that ‘2021 was the year privacy went mainstream’, referring to the spotlight put on Big Tech companies’ data processing last year.
More data at risk
Despite progress in awareness and advocacy for data privacy, Hillestad forecasts that the topic will continue to be a key technology battleground in 2022.
“We see increasing and improper use of technologies such as Artificial Intelligence, biometrics, and tracking, which puts personal data and individuals right to privacy at risk every day. My dream scenario would be that governments around the world review their surveillance practices and ensure sufficient local legal mechanisms so that we can move personal data across geographical borders while still protecting people’s privacy rights,” she says while pointing out the importance of transparency for Telenor when it comes to the handling of data.
“As a business, it is important for Telenor to be transparent on how we collect both customer and employee data, that we only use it for lawful purposes, and that we always take necessary steps to keep data safe.”
Three privacy measures for businesses
Although it might still take some time before her scenario turns into reality, Hillestad underlines that there are plenty of actions businesses can take today to better ensure sufficient protection of data.
- Train your employees: “Training employees in all levels of the organisation is an effective and relatively inexpensive measure a company can take to reduce the number and severity of mistakes.”
- Be transparent: “Being open and clear about how you collect and use the personal data. This is an area where you should not cut corners. Make sure this information is communicated to your users in a simple and understandable manner.”
- Clean up: “Any personal information that is no longer required to fulfil its identified purpose must be securely disposed of. In other words, make sure all personal data is deleted when the legal reason for keeping them has expired.”
For Telenor, data protection understanding is part of the digital skillset we believe is needed to operate responsibly, safely, and efficiently as digitalisation accelerates. Enabling digital skills in the societies where we operate, such as upskilling in data privacy, is a way we can deliver on our purpose of empowering societies. Read more on our “Learning in Telenor” page to learn how we ensure upskilling in our organisation.