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ISO 29184 (Information Security Standard)

Glossary Contents

The International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) 29184:2020, also known as the Information Security Standard, is a globally recognised framework that provides guidelines for online privacy notice and consent. This standard is part of the ISO's extensive catalogue of standards that aim to ensure the safety, reliability, and quality of products and services across a wide range of industries. ISO 29184:2020 specifically addresses the privacy aspects of information security, focusing on the online environment.

ISO 29184:2020 is a critical component of data privacy, as it provides a structured approach to managing and protecting personal data. This standard is particularly important today, as data privacy has become a significant concern for individuals, businesses, and governments worldwide. The standard provides a comprehensive set of guidelines that organisations can follow to ensure they are handling personal data in a manner that respects individuals' privacy rights and meets legal and regulatory requirements.

Overview of ISO 29184:2020

The ISO 29184:2020 standard provides a framework for organisations to establish, implement, maintain, and continually improve their online privacy notices and consent procedures. The standard is applicable to all types of organisations, regardless of their size or the nature of their activities. It is particularly relevant for organisations that handle personal data in the online environment, including businesses, government agencies, and non-profit organisations.

ISO 29184:2020 is based on the principle of privacy by design, which means that privacy considerations are integrated into the design and operation of IT systems, business processes, and services. The standard provides guidelines on how to provide clear and comprehensive privacy notices, obtain valid consent from individuals, and handle personal data in a manner that respects individuals' privacy rights.

Structure of ISO 29184:2020

The ISO 29184:2020 standard is structured into several sections, each of which provides detailed guidelines on a specific aspect of online privacy notice and consent. The main sections include scope, normative references, terms and definitions, principles, and guidelines. Each section is designed to provide comprehensive guidance to organisations on how to implement and maintain effective online privacy notice and consent procedures.

The 'scope' section defines the applicability of the standard, while the 'normative references' section lists the other standards and documents that are referenced in the standard. The 'terms and definitions' section provides definitions of key terms used in the standard. The 'principles' section outlines the fundamental principles that underpin the standard, and the 'guidelines' section provides detailed guidance on how to implement the principles in practice.

Key Principles of ISO 29184:2020

The ISO 29184:2020 standard is based on several key principles, which form the foundation of effective online privacy notice and consent procedures. These principles include transparency, fairness, respect for individual rights, risk management, and accountability. Each principle is explained in detail in the standard, providing organisations with a clear understanding of what they need to do to comply with the standard.

'Transparency' requires organisations to provide clear and comprehensive information about their data processing activities. 'Fairness' requires organisations to process personal data in a manner that is fair and respects individuals' rights. 'Respect for individual rights' requires organisations to respect individuals' rights to privacy and to provide mechanisms for individuals to exercise their rights. 'Risk management' requires organisations to identify and manage risks to individuals' privacy. Accountability' requires organisations to take responsibility for their data processing activities and to demonstrate compliance with the standard.

Implementation of ISO 29184:2020

Implementing ISO 29184:2020 involves a series of steps, starting with understanding the standard and its requirements, developing a plan for implementation, and then executing the plan. The standard provides detailed guidance on each step of the implementation process, helping organisations to effectively implement the standard and achieve compliance.

The first step in implementing ISO 29184:2020 is to understand the standard and its requirements. This involves reviewing the standard, understanding the key principles, and identifying the specific requirements that apply to the organisation. The next step is to develop a plan for implementation. This involves identifying the actions that need to be taken, assigning responsibilities, and setting timelines. The final step is to execute the plan, monitor progress, and make adjustments as necessary.

Benefits of Implementing ISO 29184:2020

Implementing ISO 29184:2020 can provide a range of benefits for organisations. These include improved data privacy practices, increased trust from customers and stakeholders, compliance with legal and regulatory requirements, and enhanced reputation. By implementing the standard, organisations can demonstrate their commitment to data privacy, which can help to build trust and confidence among customers and stakeholders.

Compliance with ISO 29184:2020 can also help organisations to meet their legal and regulatory obligations. Many jurisdictions around the world have laws and regulations that require organisations to protect personal data and respect individuals' privacy rights. By implementing the standard, organisations can ensure they are meeting these requirements and reduce the risk of legal and regulatory penalties.

Challenges in Implementing ISO 29184:2020

While implementing ISO 29184:2020 can provide many benefits, it can also present some challenges. These can include the complexity of the standard, the need for organisational change, and the need for ongoing monitoring and improvement. The standard is complex and requires a detailed understanding of data privacy principles and practices. Implementing the standard may require significant changes to an organisation's IT systems, business processes, and culture.

Ongoing monitoring and improvement are also critical to maintaining compliance with the standard. This requires organisations to regularly review their privacy practices, identify areas for improvement, and take action to address any issues. This can be a complex and time-consuming process, but it is essential for maintaining compliance with the standard and ensuring effective data privacy practices.


ISO 29184:2020 is a critical standard for data privacy, providing comprehensive guidelines for online privacy notice and consent. By implementing this standard, organisations can improve their data privacy practices, build trust with customers and stakeholders, and comply with legal and regulatory requirements. While implementing the standard can present some challenges, the benefits can far outweigh these, making ISO 29184:2020 a valuable tool for any organisation that handles personal data in the online environment.

As data privacy continues to be a major concern in today's digital age, standards like ISO 29184:2020 will continue to play a critical role in ensuring the protection of personal data. Organisations that embrace these standards and integrate them into their operations will be well-positioned to navigate the complex landscape of data privacy, meet the expectations of their customers and stakeholders, and succeed in the digital economy.

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