Designing Privacy

Last week we had the pleasure of hosting a panel in collaboration with Pantopicon for the Toronto Design Offsite that posed the question “how can we use design to address privacy in today’s context?”


The Panel:
Brandon Kerstens — commercial lawyer specializing in Marketing & Distribution and Privacy & Data Management
Pia Nyakairu — Human Factors / UX /UI designer in the healthcare field
Rob H Wood — security consultant specializing in product security for embedded devices with NCC Group
Rita Morais — PhD Candidate (ABD) in the department of Communication and Culture at Ryerson University
Ashley Casovan — Canada’s Open Government Portal Lead

Our initial goal for the event was to develop an outline for a universal code of conduct that designers could reference when confronting privacy issues in their work. As the debate unfolded, the panel expressed that a universal code of conduct likely wasn't feasible, leading to a more nuanced discussion and discipline-specific examples around ethics, privacy and design. So many interesting ideas, concerns and perspectives were shared by both the panel and audience members, and in the end we decided that an evolving framework of considerations would be more appropriate than the original idea of a code of conduct. The main themes we identified from this particular conversation centred around regulation, consent, value, and consequences of data exchange.

As an intermediary between multiple stakeholders, a designer is often in a unique position to determine the practical approach to address these privacy concerns. We're excited to continue to explore how design and privacy can intersect in further work this year.

If you would like to be notified of future events, please let us know.

You can watch the whole panel discussion here!



We are designers driven by curiosity, information and the human experience.


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