Business Cases for Privacy-Enhancing Technologies

Business Cases for Privacy-Enhancing Technologies

Roger Clarke
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59904-804-8.ch007
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Many categories of e-business continue to under-achieve. Their full value cannot be unlocked while key parties distrust the technology or other parties, particularly the scheme’s sponsors. Meanwhile, the explosion in privacy-intrusive technologies has resulted in privacy threats looming ever larger as a key impediment to adoption. Technology can be applied in privacy-enhancing ways, variously to counter invasive technologies, to enable untraceable anonymity, and to offer strong, but more qualified pseudonymity. After their first decade, it is clear that privacy-enhancing technologies (PETs) are technically effective, but that their adoption lags far behind their potential. As a result, they have not delivered the antidote to distrust in e-business. If individuals are not spontaneously adopting PETs, then the opportunity exists for corporations and government agencies to harness PETs as a core element of their privacy strategies. The financial investment required is not all that large. On the other hand, it is challenging to attract the attention of executives to an initiative of this nature, and then to adapt corporate culture to ensure that the strategy is successfully carried through. This chapter examines PETs, their application to business needs, and the preparation of a business case for investment in PETs.

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