Diamond sponsors

Developing for privacy and data protection

Profile picture for user Heather Burns
Experience level
45 minutes
2.03 vanadium
Starts at
Ends at
Industry track

Open source projects can have a positive impact on privacy across the web. First, though, we need to understand our very different cultural and legal approaches to privacy, and define what privacy actually means.


Open source content management systems are made by those who show up. This creates a unique challenge when developing for privacy and data protection, as contributors bring very different cultural and legal approaches to the table. As project contributors, we need to acknowledge those differences, and the issues they create, so that we can provide a better standard of privacy for those who use our CMSes and those who visit the sites made on them. We also need to define what we mean when we talk about "privacy" - a topic which generates a surprisingly diverse range of opinions.

In this session, we will discuss different cultural approaches to privacy, and will also summarise different legal approaches such as the European model (GDPR and the ePrivacy Directive) as well as the growing push for hard privacy regulations in America.

For case studies, we will review how the WordPress and Drupal projects have approached privacy on both the planning and code levels, and discuss how that work has proceeded in diverse, contributor-led environments where privacy is often seen as a legal problem to avoid rather than a cultural value to embrace.

Finally, we'll look at an idea for a crosss-project open source standard to define and implement privacy as a principle outside laws and regulations.

At the end, attendees will be inspired to reflect positively on the impact that open source CMS development can have on privacy across the web, and understand the role they can play to make that happen.

Platinum sponsors