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    Visual Privacy Advisory Council

    The Visual Privacy Advisory Council is a group of data privacy and security thought leaders dedicated to raising awareness of this issue and promoting best practices and policies to prevent costly visual hacking attacks.

  • Visual hacker snooping over a wall

    What is visual hacking and why should you care?

    Visual hacking is the act of viewing or capturing sensitive, confidential or private information for unauthorized use. Examples of visual hacking include:
     

    1. Unauthorized viewing of hard copy documents, computer or mobile device screens - "shoulder surfing" 
    2. Photgraphing screens and physical documents with smartphones
    3. Physical theft of sensitive documents and targeted data

    Organizations spend millions on IT security but often do little to prevent the display of sensitive, proprietary and confidential data in plain sight. Failing to address this vulnerability can put any organization at risk.

Facts about visual hacking

More about the Visual Hacking Experiment

In 2015, Ponemon Institute conducted an experiment in the U.S. that revealed how easy it was to capture sensitive company information through visual hacking. To determine if visual hacking was an issue on a global scale, 3M sponsored an expanded experiment in 2016 to include offices in China, France, Germany, India, Japan, South Korea and the United Kingdom.

  • Illustration of visual hacking statistic

    Visual hacking is easy.

    An undercover white hat hacker was able to visually hack information in 91% of global trials.1

  • Illustration of how much information is at risk

    It happens quickly.

    In nearly half of the global trials an undercover visual hacker was able to obtain information in 15 minutes or less.1

  • Illustration of how often visual hackers go unnoticed

    Computer screens are at risk.

    Globally, 52% of sensitive information was successfully hacked from employee computer screens.1

  • 1Average based on global trials conducted by Ponemon Institute during the “Visual Hacking Experiment,” 2015, and the “Global Visual Hacking Experiment,” 2016, both sponsored by 3M.

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VPAC Members 2

  • Dr. Larry Ponemon

    Chairman & Founder
    The Ponemon Institute

  • Dan Burks

    Enterprise Chief Privacy Officer
    U.S. Bank

  • Mari Frank, Esq., CIPP

    Attorney/Mediator & Privacy Counsultant/Expert
    Mari J. Frank Esq. & Associates

  • Patricia Titus

    CISO, Markel Corporation

  • John Brenberg

    Manager, Information Security & Compliance
    3M

  • Kate Borten

    President, Healthcare Security and Privacy
    The Marblehead Group

  • 2 The people appearing here are members of the Visual Privacy Advisory Council and receive compensation from 3M in connection with his or her participation on the Visual Privacy Advisory Council.


  • About the Visual Privacy Advisory Council

    The Visual Privacy Advisory Council is a group of data privacy and security thought leaders dedicated to raising awareness of this issue and promoting best practices and policies to prevent costly visual hacking attacks.

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