Privacy policies will change by 2012, new research suggests

Recent security breaches have put a spotlight on companies’ privacy policies. According to new research from Gartner, at least half of the companies that host their clients’ data will be forced to update their privacy policies by the end of 2012 to appease their customers.

In addition to the security breaches, customers’ worries about where across the globe their data is being housed also play a role. Read Write Web says there is a “trend among cloud customers to request that their data only be housed in jurisdictions where law enforcement agencies would not be entitled to seek court-warranted access to them.”

But, Gartner Research Director Carsten Casper says instead of demanding your data be stored in a specific country, companies should tell their vendors where they don’t want their data stored.

“Don’t demand storage in a specific country for privacy purposes alone,” Casper was quoted on Read Write Web. “There are other cases when sensitive company information should not leave the country (for example, if there are export control or national security concerns), but in most cases – and usually under conditions – in-country storage is not mandatory for privacy compliance. In some cases, it will be sufficient to ensure that personal data will not be stored in a specific country that is known for its privacy violations.”

Gartner says, cloud computing is one of six areas that will be at the top of privacy officers’ agendas for the remainder of 2011 and 2012, in addition to data breaches, location-based services, offshoring, context-awareness and regulatory changes.

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