RSAC 2018 | Is GDPR really that big of a step for privacy? A conversation with Dr. Chris Pierson

RSAC 2018 | Is GDPR really that big of a step for privacy? A conversation with Dr. Chris Pierson .jpg

By Marco Ciappelli | Co-Host Sean Martin
A conversation with Chris Pierson

RSA Conference 2018 in San Francisco is now over, and it was great to be part of it.

After so many conversations and so much running around, Friday arrived, and we decided to have one more recap chat with Dr. Chris Pierson, right before the last of the three talks he was delivering at this RSA Conference.

Chris is a globally recognized cybersecurity expert. At Binary Sun Cyber Risk Advisors he advises boards, C-Suite, and investors on cybersecurity, risk, law, and privacy. Dr. Pierson serves as a Special Government Employee on the Department of Homeland Security Data Privacy & Integrity Advisory Committee (Policy Chair) and Cybersecurity Subcommittee, and is a Distinguished Fellow of the Ponemon Institute.

It is always good to see him, and it was not the first time at this year's event, as we had invited him to moderate one of the five Expert Panels that we streamed live and recorded in San Francisco: “GDPR, Identity, And Cybersecurity.”

It is worth your time, for sure:

Following up on that conversation, we wanted to summarize what the GDPR and privacy talk felt like during RSA, and what to expect from this critical step for privacy.

I wondered if now would be the right time to apply the same privacy controls to every user around the globe and consider privacy a fundamental human right -- as it is. Unfortunately, it might not be easy as not everyone is as idealistic as me. There are economic, political, cultural and practical issues the might not make my dream come true tomorrow.

We also spoke about a related and quite alarming topic: facial recognition. This is a technology that together with other biometrics has now stepped into the cybersecurity arena - which is good - but also into other areas that might be a bit more controversial, like advertising "Minority Report" style to mass surveillance … "big brother" style.

Fascinating or scary?

Can we opt in or opt out of that? When? So how?

Are transparency, trust, and education going to make the difference?

How can we take Toto and get the *%#@ back to Kansas?

It sure was a good conversation.

Let’s listen.

* If you have read my introduction above, you can go directly to the conversation by skipping ahead to 2':10'' - Enjoy!