A fundamental shift in how privacy and confidentiality are valued is emerging within many organizations. Because of this shift, privacy and confidentiality pose many risks to an organization, yet are rarely viewed from a risk-based perspective. We examine the value of privacy and confidentiality to an organization.
Privacy and confidentiality, as a part of the field of ethics, has increasingly been examined both from a normative and empirical view with the focus principally being on a consumer’s right to privacy. This paper has attempted to examine the value of privacy and confidentiality to an organization. Specifically, it has gone beyond the issue of consumer privacy and examined how privacy and confidentiality affect the value of an organization.
The model developed is conceptual, but could hold promise for future empirical research. Organizations who need to build the case for better privacy and confidentiality procedures, processes and controls can examine the model to see how they can build value. Moreover, during transactions such as mergers and acquisitions, organizations can use the model to examine the embedded value of privacy and confidentiality to the organization. A potential societal risk from increased concerns about privacy and disclosure is privatization of public companies to escape regulatory and shareholder oversight.
It has been argued that privacy has a value beyond that the collection of consumer data. Organizations need to ensure that they understand the effect on their wider operations, as well as how various stakeholders value privacy.