from Net Politics and Digital and Cyberspace Policy Program

New Cyber Brief: Protecting Data Privacy With User-Friendly Software

CFR Net Politics Cyber Brief
CFR Net Politics Cyber Brief

February 22, 2016 10:00 am (EST)

CFR Net Politics Cyber Brief
CFR Net Politics Cyber Brief
Blog Post
Blog posts represent the views of CFR fellows and staff and not those of CFR, which takes no institutional positions.

The Digital and Cyberspace Policy Program has launched its sixth Cyber Brief. This one is authored by Sara “Scout” Sinclair Brody.

Protecting the privacy of user data from unauthorized access is essential for business executives, policymakers, and users themselves. The pace of targeted attacks and massive data breaches is only increasing. Each new incident hurts organizations’ bottom lines, undermines users’ trust in the products they use every day, and can have dire consequences for public safety.

The problem is multifaceted. Technologists are rushing to fix software vulnerabilities. Regulators are trying to keep pace with the realities of a complex ecosystem. Market-based approaches, such as cybersecurity insurance, remain immature. In addition, consumers are still learning what options they have, and what options they should be asking for.

Although software that provides strong privacy protection exists, adoption rates are low, largely because of how hard it is for nonexperts to use. Scout outlines why this is the case and what technologists, the tech community and businesses can do about it.

You can find the full brief here.