Privacy by design is possible, but over time, it has become challenging to build and deploy sites and apps that use personal information in practical ways that are safe and ethical. In fact, many of us have given up at least a little of our own privacy online.
And so in our work, it may become easier to rationalize collecting more user data than we need, to avoid transparency around how that data is used, and even to use that data for unintended purposes. We tell ourselves it is for the convenience of our users, or to enhance their experiences. It’s no secret that unethical data practices can cause harm, often in ways we can’t predict.
Understanding Privacy is an introduction to the beliefs, concepts, and ideas that inform privacy as it exists — or has failed to exist — on the open web that we build. It’s about all the fundamental values of privacy as a concept, which precede privacy as a legal compliance issue. It’s about the ways these concepts impact your work as a designer, a developer, or a project manager. And it’s about the ways you can adopt these principles to create a healthy, user-centric approach to privacy in everything you do.
Heather explains what she has experienced working on privacy from every angle — human rights, law, policy, and web development — in the simplest way possible, and in the most positive way possible, in ways you can comprehend, use, and adapt in your work on the web right away.
A healthy approach to user privacy doesn’t tell you how to code. It tells you how to make the right decisions which inform the code. It also gives you the foundation you need to question, and even challenge, workplace practices which might not be in your users’ best interests.
This book is not a legal reference manual. By the end of this book, you will have shifted your understanding from a negative view of privacy as a scary legal compliance obligation to a positive view of privacy as an opportunity to build a better web.
Approx. 350 pages. Written by Heather Burns. Cover design by Espen Brunborg. eBook available for download in October, print shipping in November.
Understanding Privacy is for designers, developers, and project managers who want to understand what privacy really is about and who want to integrate a healthy approach to user privacy into everything they do — not only to put their users first today but also to help build a better web for tomorrow.
In the book’s first section, “Privacy and You,” Heather reviews the fundamental concepts, definitions, and frameworks behind privacy and data protection.
In the second section, “Privacy and Your Work,” Heather discusses how to integrate a healthy approach to user privacy into everything you do, whether you are a designer, a developer, or a project manager.
“Privacy and Your Users” covers issues around user privacy where you can make a difference.
In “Privacy and Your Future,” Heather suggests a few critical areas that make the web a better place and lay the ground for future developers, designers, and project managers to build a better web for tomorrow’s users.
In the final section, “Privacy and Health Data,” Heather addresses an even more pressing recent issue: the obligations we have to safeguard user privacy and health data, and how to do it as best we can.
Approx. 350 pages. eBook available for download in October, print shipping in November. Written by Heather Burns. Cover design by Espen Brunborg.
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