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Privacy is Embedded into PlaceSpeak’s Design


This is the third in a series of posts on how PlaceSpeak is committed to the protection of our participants’ personal information and our persistent efforts in ensuring their privacy.

PlaceSpeak is recognized as a Privacy by Design Ambassador.  Privacy by Design is a concept developed by Ontario’s former Information and Privacy Commissioner, Dr. Ann Cavoukian, in the 1990’s, to address the ever-growing and systemic effects of Information and Communication Technologies, and of large–scale networked data systems. The goals of Privacy by Design — ensuring privacy and gaining personal control over one’s information and, for organizations, gaining a sustainable competitive advantage — is accomplished by practicing the 7 Foundational Principles.

The third principle focuses on privacy embedded into our design.

Privacy Embedded into Design

Here is Dr. Cavoukian talking about the importance of privacy embedded into design:


Privacy is embedded into the design and architecture of IT systems and business practices. It is not bolted on as an add-on, after the fact. The result is that it becomes an essential component of the core functionality being delivered. Privacy is integral to the system, without diminishing functionality.


PlaceSpeak has been developed to integrate privacy into the design and architecture of both our IT systems and our business practices.

Minimal personal data is collected and retained to complete the required verification of participant identity and location. By minimizing the information that PlaceSpeak handles at each stage of the process, PlaceSpeak embeds privacy concerns into the collection, management, distribution, and purging of personal information to reduce the impact and opportunity from security breaches or compromise–including access granted for developers and account managers.


Personal data collected does not include demographic data, market-based information, or personal information unrelated to verifying personal identity and location.

Information collected is “pinged” to verify the information provided and is not retained.

PlaceSpeak has a clearly stated privacy policy that proponents and participants are encouraged to review with multiple access points throughout the site. Video content as well as text is included to further amplify PlaceSpeak’s commitment to personal privacy.

PlaceSpeak uses a software-as-a-service (SaaS) revenue model. This model was chosen specifically because both advertising and market research-style models would not allow privacy by design. Research demonstrated that people are reluctant to give their addresses online because they do not want to be advertised or direct-marketed to, or have their information sold to third parties. Our decision to adopt a business model and practice of not accepting advertising or making our personal information available to third parties for any reason ensures that we are not dependent on providing private information for the purposes of sustaining our business.


PlaceSpeak engages confidently with participants and proponents about privacy provisions.


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