Back to Blog

Privacy by Design: How to Successfully Integrate Privacy into Development Lifecycle?

Data, Privacy, Protection and Your Business

Trust is one of the key factors in a successful business. When trust is eroded, businesses tend to suffer. Let’s consider that just as in our offline lives, our online lives and the ways in which we do business rely on trust and safety.

Organizations collect, store and use personal data more than ever through a host of fast-evolving technologies. New laws aimed at protecting customers from harm due to data breaches and fines levied upon companies have been making their way into headlines. Data protection laws regulate all digitized information that can be connected to a natural person. The goal of data protection laws is to maintain transparency, fairness and control to users. And for good reason.

High profile privacy incidents affect millions of users, and threaten organizations. To remedy this problem, privacy professionals are increasingly looking to privacy engineering, a practice of building privacy requirements into system architectures, to enable organizations to scale the management and implementation of data privacy more effectively and efficiently.

As we’re gradually making our way into a new era where privacy is an added benefit that companies can no longer choose to or optionally partake in. And the demand for privacy experts and engineers is at a record high due to mass migration to cloud services and rise in big data & machine learning. However, PwC reports that demand for people who can apply complex privacy requirements to business problems will exceed supply.

Why Care About Privacy?

If your users feel like their data and their identity isn’t safe or is at risk of being compromised, they will go elsewhere. This is why engineers and tech leaders need to care about privacy. A consumer privacy study led by Cisco showed that online privacy is of growing concern and importance to increasingly more and more people.

The study indicated that: 

  • 86% of consumers “care about data privacy” and want more control
  • 79% of consumers are willing to invest time or money to better protect their privacy

In short, the report also demonstrates the growing importance of privacy and its implications on the businesses and governments that serve them.

Over the Long Term, the Most Resilient Brands Are Built From the Inside Out

While developers often recognize that privacy is important, it is not their top priority. Engineers tasked with writing code, and building automation, make many smaller decisions during the development process. They make many smaller decisions, and their technical outcomes, even what may seem like the most minor of decisions, can lead to less than desirable outcomes later down the line, including shareholder and investor risk, leaving many tech leaders to wonder, “what decisions am I making that may have a privacy impact down the line?”

“There are engineers in companies who write code and build automation. They make many smaller decisions, and their technical outcomes, even what may seem like the most minor of decisions, can lead to less than desirable outcomes later down the line, including shareholder and investor risk, leaving many tech leaders to wonder, ‘what decisions am I making that may have a privacy impact down the line?’”

Privacy at the Macro Level

Too often the result is that the engineering team begins and even takes hold inside an organization before the privacy and legal teams really have a chance to get involved. And so, privacy vulnerabilities are not always correctly addressed in production and development environments, leaving room for unnecessary risk. By the time this stage of the project is reached, the product is already up & running, and it may be too complex for present and future privacy teams to understand and fix all the stages in the process.

Development teams are in for an unpleasant surprise later on, when they try to expedite the delivery of a product or project which later needs to be reworked. By cutting corners, and not factoring in privacy early on in the development process, they will face a much more intensive workload by trying to pick up the pieces and rework development later down the line, once the product is already deployed and all of the development is already built together.

Organizations are encouraged to bring their engineering and privacy teams into alignment and establish collaboration for stronger overall security and privacy. And, developers often view privacy and security as something that will slow down their deployments – however, this way of thinking can lead to technical debt. 

And the perception that development schedules are slowed down is wrong. Privacy can be added into the development process, very easily. This can be done by simply integrating or ‘baking in’ data protection into your processing activities and business practices, from the design stage right through the lifecycle.

The best practice is to include privacy experts  as part of the development process, however, reality dictates that this is both costly and unrealistic. And oftentimes, privacy experts are hard to come by. Privya comes to solve this problem, by serving as an in-house, automated privacy expert that can assist your development teams.

Adding Privacy Practices After Deployment May Already Be Too Late

Finding out that important privacy practices weren’t included during the development lifecycle, after a product has been deployed to production, isn’t a quick fix. For example, forgetting to define data retention during development isn’t as simple as going back and adding a few lines of code – although we all wish it may be that easy. Fixing even the smallest of mistakes can become complicated and costly. Fixing data retention, for example, after a product is in production, requires a number of resources, including time and cost, to go back in.

Privacy at the Micro Level

Embedding privacy into the data and design of products is critical. Privacy by Design is the concept of embedding privacy into any new product, system or process when it is conceptualized and as it is being developed. 

An early focus and understanding of privacy has many clear benefits. It helps to “design-in” essential privacy safeguards, as well as improve financial and operational efficiencies.

Proper privacy by design requires that you:

  1. Put in place appropriate technical and organizational measures designed to implement the data protection principles effectively; and
  2. Integrate safeguards into your processing so that you meet the regulation’s requirements and protect individual rights.

“Taking into account the state of the art, the cost of implementation and the nature, scope, context and purposes of processing as well as the risks of varying likelihood and severity for rights and freedoms of natural persons posed by the processing, the controller shall, both at the time of the determination of the means for processing and at the time of the processing itself, implement appropriate technical and organisational measures, such as pseudonymisation, which are designed to implement data-protection principles, such as data minimisation, in an effective manner and to integrate the necessary safeguards into the processing in order to meet the requirements of this Regulation and protect the rights of data subjects.” Article 25 “Data protection by design and by default”, GDPR.

Best Practices

Modern data privacy and protection regulations require that appropriate technical and organizational measures be put in place to implement the data privacy effectively and safeguard individual rights. When considering what products and services you need for your processing, it is good practice to examine the areas where designers and developers have taken data privacy into account. This can help to ensure that your processing adheres to privacy by design requirements.

Privacy professionals are required to effectively comply and demonstrate that data privacy and protection principles are maintained and applied in today’s complex data systems. The practice of using compliance question forms isn’t enough to ensure data privacy when the software and code underlying data processing are not detected and deciphered.

The rising demand for privacy experts is met by limited supply, as regulatory requirements become increasingly complex. Streamlining and scaling privacy programs across your organization becomes easy and manageable with Privya. Privya serves as a hub for all privacy management and privacy control programs across your cloud native environment.. Rather than relying on training several privacy teams, Privya saves you valuable time and resources.

About Privya

Privacy Starts in the Code is your hub for privacy management and privacy control programs across your cloud native environment.

Privya assists in finding and managing privacy compliance violations within the code as well as data protection vulnerabilities. Privya’s approach allows data protection professionals and privacy specialists to bridge the gap between the organization’s privacy needs & data protection requirements and the actual reality in engineering to deliver a better product with a built-in privacy compliance posture & data protection.

Privya’s approach allows Data Protection Officers (DPOs), GRCs and privacy & security professionals to align with the engineering teams, enabling an improved understanding of your privacy compliance posture & data protection vulnerabilities.

Privya assists you to identify data protection requirements through the development process and help you understand how the data protection principles have actually been applied in your code and application. Thus, when Privya is applied, it can unveil data privacy and data protection risks that way too often remain hidden and end up giving an inaccurate view of an organization’s data protection compliance status.

To learn more, visit:

To book a demo, email us at: 

Uzy Hadad
Uzy Hadad


Scroll to Top