Top Data Privacy Practices for Physical Security

From storing only what you need to establishing strong policies, organizations can set data protection best practices to help physical security leaders protect privacy.

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  • [Image source: Krishna Prasad/MITSMR Middle East]

    As the volume and variety of data that can be collected, stored, and analyzed has skyrocketed over the past decade-and-a-half, data privacy is given growing prominence. 

    When it comes to how organizations use and treat data, fewer safeguards are often in place as they continue to fall victim to social engineering, phishing, identity theft, and other scamming attempts.

    There’s room for improvement, though.

    In an increasingly interconnected digital landscape, organizations should equip physical security professionals with strategies for a more trustworthy security ecosystem, regularly update protocols, and continuously educate their teams on best practices.

    Genetec shared a comprehensive set of data protection best practices to help physical security leaders protect privacy, safeguard data, and enable trust without compromising security.

    Collecting and Storing Only What You Need:

    A fundamental data security rule is to collect and store only essential information. The potential impact of a security breach can be reduced by minimizing stored data. It’s important to regularly review and audit data and dispose of unnecessary information responsibly.

    Limiting Access to Sensitive Data:

    Enhancing data security involves restricting access to sensitive information. Genetec recommends implementing data-sharing best practices, such as removing personally identifiable information to safeguard individual privacy. Techniques for anonymizing personal information while retaining its utility include:

    • Randomization (adding noise to numerical values such as an individual’s age or income),
    • Pseudonymization (such as replacing names with unique identifiers), tokenization (such as replacing credit card numbers with tokens that have no direct correlation to the original numbers),
    • Generalization (such as converting exact birth dates to age ranges),
    • Data masking (showing only the first few digits of a phone number).

    Ensuring Privacy without Compromising Evidence:

    By using technologies such as KiwiVision Privacy Protector, organizations can automatically anonymize images of people so they can continue to survey surveillance footage while respecting privacy. This technology also offers an additional security layer that only authorized users can “unlock” and view unmasked footage while maintaining an audit trail.

    Being Transparent and Get User Consent:

    Building trust through transparency and user consent is essential. It’s important to clearly communicate with users about the data collection process, promoting informed decisions. Organizations should also gain explicit consent before collecting and processing data.

    Choosing a Reliable Data Storage Provider:

    Organizations should select a data storage provider carefully, ensuring a clear understanding of data storage, handling, and sharing practices. Organizations should demand strong security measures and reliable data handling practices using third-party services. Establish who “owns” any data stored in the cloud and any rights/privileges associated with using or disclosing any information.

    Establishing Strong Policies:

    Genetec recommends implementing robust policies across the organization to ensure long-term data safety. Enforcing a transparent chain of custody through technology, such as a Digital Evidence Management System, ensures accountability and traceability at every data lifecycle stage.


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