Definition Edit

Data minimization refers to

the concept that companies should limit the data they collect and retain, and dispose of it once they no longer need it.[1]
collecting, using, disclosing, and storing the minimal data necessary to perform a task. Reducing the amount of data exchanged reduces the amount of data that can be misused or leaked.[2]

Overview Edit

"Data minimization can be effectuated in a number of different ways, including by limiting collection, use, disclosure, retention, identifiability, sensitivity, and access to personal data. Limiting the data collected by protocol elements to only what is necessary (collection limitation) is the most straightforward way to help reduce privacy risks associated with the use of the protocol. In some cases, protocol designers may also be able to recommend limits to the use or retention of data, although protocols themselves are not often capable of controlling these properties."[3]

"Data minimization can help guard against two privacy-related risks. First, larger data stores present a more attractive target for data thieves, both outside and inside a company — and increases the potential harm to consumers from such an event. Second, if a company collects and retains large amounts of data, there is an increased risk that the data will be used in a way that departs from consumers' reasonable expectations."

"To minimize these risks, companies should examine their data practices and business needs and develop policies and practices that impose reasonable limits on the collection and retention of consumer data. However, recognizing the need to balance future, beneficial uses of data with privacy protection, [FTC] staff's recommendation on data minimization is a flexible one that gives companies many options. They can decide not to collect data at all; collect only the fields of data necessary to the product or service being offered; collect data that is less sensitive; or de-identify the data they collect. If a company determines that none of these options will fulfill its business goals, it can seek consumers' consent for collecting additional, unexpected categories of data. . . ."[4]

"Data minimization mitigates the following threats: surveillance, stored data compromise, correlation, identification, secondary use, and disclosure."[5]

References Edit

  1. Internet of Things: Privacy & Security in a Connected World, at iv.
  2. Privacy Considerations for Internet Protocols, at 18.
  3. Id.
  4. Internet of Things: Privacy & Security in a Connected World, at iv.
  5. Privacy Considerations for Internet Protocols, at 19.