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What to Know about Privacy by Design & Privacy by Default

Data privacy protection is increasingly becoming a big deal in today’s society. To provide some perspective, the bulk of the responsibility was on users in the past. However, the narrative is fast changing today.

This is considering how there are policies that mandate product, service, & systems owners to protect their user’s data. The GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) is one such. For more information about it, you can visit: https://gdpr-info.eu/

In light of this, there are concepts to be well understood. “Privacy by design and by default” are two such concepts and they will both be discussed here. So, ensure that you read on to find out more.

What Is Privacy by Design?

It is a concept that promotes the adequate incorporation of privacy protection features in products, services, processes, and systems. One of its notable principles is the need to ensure the incorporation of these features right from the architectural and design phases.

This is as opposed to attempting to go about it after the product, service, process, or system has been fully designed. In other words, these features are expected to be a major part of the designing of the product, service, process, or system (as the case may be).

There are key principles of this concept that help in further understanding what it is about. Some of them include the following:

It Is About Being Proactive

Here is how data protection and privacy mostly played out before this concept became a thing and was taken seriously. Things would get out of hand and then professionals will be consulted to fix the mess. At best, lessons learned from such experiences informed how product, service, process, or system managers would go about things.

However, the world of information technology is way past that narrative, as of today. The expectation is that these features are adequately factored into the architecture and design of products, services, processes, & systems. In other words, it is basically about being proactive rather than being reactive.

Default Setting

For the sake of clarity, a default setting suggests an original status quo. In simpler terms, it is the way things are without any alterations by the user.

Having made this clear, privacy by design is also about ensuring that optimal privacy protection is the case as a default setting. This implies that users do not have to take extra measures to ensure that their data is protected and there is no compromise.

Uninterrupted Functionality

The privileges of water-tight privacy protection should not come at the expense of the product, service, system, or process’s functionality. This concept is very clear about this, which is why the design is meant to play out in such a way that functionality will never be interrupted.

Holistic Security

The term “end-to-end security” can also be used to explain this principle. It is about ensuring that every aspect is watertight. For example, these features should play out in the data collection phase, just as they should also be ensured in the data processing phase.

There are product and service providers that ensure systems, products, services, and processes are designed to incorporate privacy protection features right from the design phase. You can see DataGuard for more information on this.

However, choosing the right product and service provider in this line of work is crucial when the need arises. A lot depends on making the right choice.

What Is Privacy by Default?

It is about ensuring that incorporated privacy settings are fully optimized. This is by making the optimal performance of these features the default setting, which is clearly in the best interest of users.

A few sources have explained this concept as the opposite of the concept of “privacy by design”. However, it is worth mentioning that this is not true. While “privacy by design” is about the integration of privacy protection features right from the architectural and design phases, this (on the other hand) is majorly about the optimal performance of these features, thereafter.

There are likewise key principles of this concept that further help in understanding what it is about. Some of them include the following:

Automated Settings

Not every user is tech-savvy enough to understand how to fully optimize these features through the use of available settings. Most users are even unable to do this.

As a result, this concept is about ensuring that the highest privacy protection features are activated as the default setting. Furthermore, alterations should be done automatically instead of manually.

Simplified Choices

Options are expected to be presented in a very user-comprehensible tone and manner. This is about ensuring that users are not left in the dark. Additionally, it is also about ensuring that users have as little as possible to do.

Importance of Privacy Protection

Both concepts (explained above) are about privacy protection, which is why understanding its importance is not out of place. To this end, some of the reasons why it is important and should not be taken lightly are discussed below:

User Trust

Users’ trust is more guaranteed if they know that privacy protection is at the core of how your products, services, processes, and/or systems are designed. The trust will be further enhanced if your users know that optimal privacy protection is your product, service, process, and/or system’s default setting.

Minimized Risks

Cybersecurity is a facet of information security for a reason. This is mainly because there is always the possibility of experiencing data breaches. So, cybersecurity is about preventing these breaches and mitigating them (if/when they happen).

On this note, complete adherence to both concepts discussed here makes cybersecurity much easier and more efficient. By and large, it is about preventing and minimizing certain risks. Some of the ways this can happen include:

  • Prevention or Significant Reduction in the Risk of Unauthorized Access
  • Prevention or Significant Reduction in the Misuse of User and/or Corporate Information
  • Prevention or Significant Reduction of Data Breaches

The combined advantages of incorporating privacy protection features from the architectural & design phase and optimizing these features by default are the reasons for the above-listed benefits.


There are a bunch of laws that mandate privacy protection. So, refusal to heed these laws means that you would be violating them and liable to the penalties that apply. Some of these laws include:

  • GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation)
  • CCPA (California Consumer Privacy Act)
  • PIPEDA (Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act)
  • APPI (Act on the Protection of Personal Information)
  • LGPD (Lei Geral de Proteção de Dados)
  • PIPL (Personal Information Protection Law)

All of the above-listed and several others are location-sensitive. For example, CCPA applies in the United States, GDPR applies in Europe, LGPD applies in Brazil, and APPI applies in Japan. By the way, these are just a few as there are several others across the globe. You can click h102034-9246IYere for more information about these regulations on a global scale.


Both concepts discussed here are crucial today. There are even other benefits besides the benefits of complying with regulations, minimizing risks, and earning users’ trust (as mentioned above). Other benefits include:

  • Cost Efficiency
  • Long-Term Viability
  • Competitive Advantage
  • Ethical Responsibility

All these and more emphasize the need to take these concepts seriously. So, you should do so going forward.

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