What Is Privacy by Design?

The framework for PbD was initially drawn up in Canada in the 1990s. Dr. Ann Cavoukian, its originator, who was the Privacy Commissioner of Ontario at the time, developed the framework to tackle the common problems of developers fixing privacy problems after the completion of a project:

The framework provided by Privacy by Design averts events that could lead to privacy invasion prior to its happening. PbD is proactive in that it doesn’t wait for privacy threats to occur, neither does it proffer solutions for handling privacy infractions when they have materialized. Its primary aim is to prevent them from happening. In a nutshell, PbD comes before and not after the fact.

Below are the 7 foundational principles of the PbD framework:

  1. Proactive and not reactive privacy. Any issues bordering on privacy must be anticipated before it gets to the user. Also, privacy must be pre-emptive and not corrective.
  2. The default setting must be privacy. The user must not be saddled with the responsibility of securing their privacy and should not assume consent for sharing data.
  3. Privacy must be embedded into the design. It has to be an essential function of the product or service and not a supplementary.
  4. Privacy must be positive sum and dichotomies ought to be avoided. For instance, Private by Design gets an attainable balance between security and privacy, not a zero-sum game of security or privacy.
  5. An end-to-end lifecycle protection of user data must be provided by privacy. This implies getting involved in the correct reduction, retaining and erasure processes of data.
  6. The standards of privacy must be open, visible, transparent, documented and can be verified independently. In other words, your processes must be capable of facing external scrutiny.
  7. Privacy must be centred on the user. This simply means providing users with granular privacy options, maximized privacy defaults, detailed privacy information notices, user-friendly options and clear notification if there are any changes.

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Getting to know “Privacy By Design”

We would like to give honour to whom it is due. In these past twelve months, the worldwide political mayhem has caused developers to take surveillance, privacy and privacy protection more seriously. The inherent threats and risks to us and our users are not just theories anymore; they are factual, they occur daily and are terrifying. All you need do is study the current exposures as regards a British company called Cambridge Analytica that has odd links to Canada. They ran a complex data-mining operation for the presidential campaign of Donald Trump and collated about five thousand pieces of data on all adults in America. This gives you a rough estimate of what’s at stake for everybody.

We must be proactive in responding to that challenge as web developers and decision-makers. We are obliged to alter our modus operandi especially in light of the political uncertainty we currently live in. Being the app and data flow creators, we could play a crucial and positive role in defending the privacy, safety and dignity of our users from attacks.

One way this can be approached is through adopting a privacy-first best-practice framework. This framework, called Privacy by Design (PbD), basically anticipates, manages and prevents privacy problems before writing a single code line. According to the PbD philosophy, the best way to lessen privacy risks is by not creating them in the first instance.

PbD has been in existence since the 1990s and is reputable for being the best-practice framework, however they are not very well known by developers, let alone utilize it. All that will change soon. The GDPR – EU’s data protection overhaul – will become enforceable legally in May 2018 and this requires privacy by design along with data protection by default across all applications and uses.

Just like the previous regime of EU data protection, any web developer that wishes to serve European customers must abide by these data protection standards whether or not they are located in Europe. So, privacy by design has become your responsibility provided you do business in Europe or sell to Europe.

This offers developers far and wide an immense opportunity to reconsider the way they approach privacy. Let us get to know more about PbD and the way it operates.

Protecting Your Users With The Framework Of Privacy By Design

In these times of political uncertainty, web developers can come to the defence of their users’ personal privacy by taking on the framework of Privacy by Design (PbD). These rational steps will turn out to be a prerequisite under the EU’s impending data protection overhaul, however the framework has a lot of benefits that exceed legal compliance.

NB: For avoidance of doubt, kindly note that this article does not serve as legal advice and should not be misconstrued as one.

Additional tips

  • You can tell people where you came from. They usually find this interesting and there are also clients that have preference working with people close by or at least in the same time zone.
  • For web designers in particular, validation is imperative. If your aim is to build professional websites for customers then you have no excuse for not ensuring your website code is valid.
  • Apart from linking texts, images should be linked as well. The majority of users will click on images with the expectation that it’ll lead them to point someplace.
  • What if you don’t have any former customers to include in your portfolio? Simply create a theme from Word Press, design an icon set, grow a Twitter mashup, etc. There are lots of potentials and a huge difference between showing just one project as against showing nothing.

Call to action

Are you looking to be hired or you just want to have huge followership? Or perhaps you just wish to be known? You must find out what it is you wish to accomplish by having a personal portfolio website.

Every single page ought to have a call to action. The “Next step” for people to take. This can best be accomplished with a “call to action” button that is clear and distinct from the rest of the page. Ensure it’s linked to your portfolio, blog, or contact page, and only make use of languages that are appropriate (e.g. “View my portfolio,” “Hire me,” “Request a quote.”)

Step 9 – Leverage social networking sites


It’s always a welcome development to have a blog. Post articles about your forte; let people see you know your onions. This aids in promoting you as well as stops your website from lying static.

People should be able to follow you by subscribing to an RSS feed, and brag about your most popular blog posts to new readers.

Make sure that comments section is enabled so you can get feedback. Don’t put your users through the hassle of registering before they can add a comment to your blog post, and also avoid using anti-spam Captcha software, as this just discourages people from dropping comments. Out there, there are many anti-spam plug-ins obtainable which does not need users to perform extra work.

Step 8 – Call to action


Your contact is perhaps one of the most vital elements a portfolio website should have however, it is sometimes either completely forgotten or hidden. If a potential client browses through your website, like your portfolio and wants to hire you.

They should be able to easily access it; don’t keep it tucked away in the footer. People should know if you can be contacted for a chat or a quote. Provide easy to fill forms to simplify the process of contacting you. Specific info such as name, website URL, email address, inquiries, etc. can easily be filled.

Step 7 – Blog

About me

This page is all about you. People would like to put a face behind the website. Tell us about your background, where you are from, your years of experience, etc. Giving out more details increases the chance of users forming a bond and trusting you.

Display your personal picture especially if you are not camera-shy. Clients usually feel better and at peace when they can put a face on who they are working with; it sort of makes you a bit more trustworthy.

In addition, this is also where you talk about your recognition and awards, don’t be modest. It’s important to keep people informed about how well you carry out your job.

Step 6 – Contact