The NIST Privacy Framework is a tool developed by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) to assist organizations in terms of management, assessment, identification and communication of privacy risks. NIST sets the rules governing the protection of digital entities for federal agencies in the United States. However, NIST can be utilized by organizations to ascertain their compliance with digital privacy laws and regulations.
NIST functions on the principle of building privacy into the design of an organization or business. This method of resorting to the concept of built-in privacy by default significantly reduces chances of data breaches and other potential security risks.
The NIST Privacy Framework is designed to be scalable and capable of supporting compliance with a diverse range of privacy laws and regulations. It is modeled on principles of transparency, choice and accountability. It's a framework such that it can be integrated into pre-existing security frameworks.
Here are the five core functions of the framework:
To develop organizational understanding of cybersecurity risks and privacy risks, by identifying the data they collect and store.
To develop and maintain an ongoing privacy governance program to ensure privacy is integrated into all aspects of their operations.
To develop and implement proper policies to ensure fair information is processed in a transparent and just way, including the individual’s choice and the laws and regulations kept in place.
To develop and implement appropriate activities to help individuals and organizations engage in a dialogue about how data is processed and other potential privacy risks, along with responding to individuals regarding privacy notices .
To develop and implement proper methods to safeguard data that is stored and processed and prevent any unauthorized access, use, alteration or destruction.
Here are a few benefits of using the NIST Privacy Framework:
Ever-Evolving Framework: NIST is an innovative framework, this allows businesses to maximize human, financial and technical resources which leads to more flexible approaches and lead to customized approaches for different businesses and their unique methods of approach.
Trust and Transparency: The NIST framework entails absolute trust and transparency by ensuring use of direct and simple ways of communicating and creating the privacy framework. It aims to make the privacy framework be understood by all members of the organization and not just lawyers and people with technical knowledge.
Integrated Privacy for Compliance: NIST framework encourages building on to the pre-existing privacy policies of the organization, integrating the preceding policies and adapting them in accordance with the latest technology would lead to better implementations of privacy policies. This would help organizations comply with the latest data privacy regulations, and reduce chances of violations and monetary fines.
Improved Competitive Advantage: In today’s data driven world, where privacy is on the front lines for anyone who is a part of the digital world. With the use of the NIST framework, organizations can demonstrate their commitment to protecting their privacy and give themselves a competitive advantage.
The NIST privacy framework is a valuable tool that can help organizations improve their privacy practices with its evolving scalability and minimal effort.
Comparably, the ISO 27701 runs parallel to the NIST Privacy Framework in terms of risk management. The ISO 27701 is an addition to the ISO 27001 which builds on the framework of maintaining an organization’s Information Security Management System(ISMS). The ISO 27701 ushers a Privacy Information Management System(PIMS). PIMS generally covers techniques that are used to collect, destroy, store data, or more specifically any Personal Identifiable Information(PII).
ISO 27701 is also in proper compliance with the GDPR and could be a structure to help combat any data privacy related violations for organizations. The NIST Privacy Framework and ISO 27701 embrace the same space in terms of what they offer to organizations however, there are a few differences between the two.
The NIST Privacy Framework thrives on being malleable because of its ever-evolving framework which can seamlessly be integrated into future changes in policies and functioning.
NIST can also be used voluntarily without the need of a certification for organizations to self-assess their privacy policies in place, whereas the ISO 27701 can be used to certify an organization’s compliance with GDPR regulations and be completely valid to be audited by a verifiable third party.
Key Takeaways of the NIST Privacy Framework