Summit 2011 Working Sessions/Session073

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WS. owasp.jpg Privacy - Personal Data/PII, Legislation and OWASP
Please see/use the 'discussion' page for more details about this Working Session
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Short Work Session Description Banner-privacypush-1.png

Privacy is a growing area of concern in the US, and might have greater awareness & understanding in the EU than security. Should OWASP say more about protecting personal data? Security is just one aspect of data protection, but many data breaches have been the result of application vulnerabilities.

This session will be useful for project leaders, as well as anyone in sectors collecting, processing or storing personal data (e.g. of consumers, citizens and employees).

Related Projects (if any)

Email Contacts & Roles Chair
Colin Watson @

Operational Manager
Mailing list
Subscription Page
  1. Identify privacy enhancing & verification aspects of existing tools and documents
  2. Create a one-page OWASP projects-to-privacy cross reference factsheet

Venue/Date&Time/Model Venue/Room
OWASP Global Summit Portugal 2011
Date & Time

Discussion Model
participants and attendees

Projector, whiteboards, markers, Internet connectivity, power

The protection of personal data has been an important concern of organisations, especuially in Europe where European legislation has driven continent-wide adoption. In North America, the US HIPAA and Canadian Privacy Act have driven privacy initiatives. With the adoption of principles and processes such as "privacy by design", "privacy impact assessments" and "building privacy in", backed with strong regulation, organizations are having to make privacy a central part of their business practices. Growing public concern about use of their personal data, mis-use by organizations and personal data breaches are leading to increased, rather than decreased government intervention in this area. Individuals themselves are more aware of their powers and there are growing trends such as vendor relationship management, where organisations need to take an external, rather than internal, viewpoint. Privacy issues are nothing new, but some more recent examples are:

Can we map projects (tools and sections in resources) to business drivers such as "privacy"?

Privacy aspects are referred to through the OWASP wiki (including projects):


But there is not any central guide, and perhaps what there is, does not have enough depth. ASVS includes a whole verification topic about data protection and the ASDR has a page on privacy as a "vulnerability". The OWASP Top ten 2010 mentions personal data in the context of insecure cryptographic storage, but privacy protection is of course much wider than encrypting data. It is of course much wider than application security:


But is OWASP offering the correct guidance in this area? Should OWASP be doing more?

Proposed by Working Group Approved by OWASP Board

A white paper discussing how the privacy ecosystem overlaps with the OWASP ecosystem and whether there should be more bridges built between them.

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Working Session Participants

(Add you name by clicking "edit" on the tab on the upper left side of this page)

Name Company Notes & reason for participating, issues to be discussed/addressed
Matthew Chalmers @

Lorna Alamri @

Achim Hoffmann @
see items at Overhauling OWASP website session
Elke Roth-Mandutz @
GSO-University of Applied Sciences
web privacy research project
David Campbell @