Essay on the Application of International Association of Privacy Professionals and Privacy Certifications to the Management of Cyberbullying

Published: 2022/01/10
Number of words: 1394

This essay will discuss the topic of cyberbullying with respect to the International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP), a non-profit association founded in 2000 with a mission to define, support and improve the privacy profession globally, as well as the privacy certifications it offers to ensure that data breaches, identity theft and loss of customer trust are well safeguarded against. The essay will first introduce the topic of cyberbullying, and discuss thereafter how IAPP certifications such as the Certified Information Privacy Professional (CIPP), Certified Information Privacy Manager (CIPM) and the Certified Information Privacy Technologist (CIPT) can help individuals to better manage threats for cyberbullying.

Cyberbullying refers to the act of exposing a person’s private information or reframing their public portrayal without their expressed consent or control (IAPP, 2018). Cyberbullying is a particularly dangerous form of online victimization and exploitation, given the relative anonymity of the perpetrator and the difficulty in identifying and stopping the perpetrator’s actions. This has been linked with lower self esteem, increased suicide risk and greater anxiety among its victims, and cyberbullying as an issue has therefore been the target of interventions by educational media campaigns, school programs, parental oversight and involvement, Congressional legislation and screening and evidence-based interventions by health care providers (Aboujaoude et al, 2015).

Need an essay assistance?
Our professional writers are here to help you.
Place an order

The media has featured a number of alarming cyberbullying cases arising from a lack of control over cybersecurity of key consumer platforms such as social media networks. For example, in 2016, the New York Times published a story on how Kim Kardashian published confidential recordings of conversations between Kanye West and Taylor Swift, and Khloe Kardashian posted photos of a near nude woman and framed actress Chloe Grace Moretz for them (IAPP, 2016). These cyberbullying tactics were the result not only of malicious intent, but also the attempts by high profile celebrities to exploit significant gaps in the cybersecurity defenses of their targeted victims (IAPP, 2016).

IAPP certifications can thus be an important tool in combating the urgent issue of cyberbullying. As discussed by the IAPP’s Introduction to Privacy for Technology Professionals, it is important for cybersecurity professionals to effectively manage threats such as cyberbullies by incorporating privacy into their risk analysis, and ensuring sufficient anonymity, encryption and privacy interfaces for their users in order to safeguard user security and privacy. This would help potential cyberbullying victims fend off the threats associated with data breaches and exposure of their confidential information.

IAPP certifications such as the Certified Information Privacy Professional (CIPP), Certified Information Privacy Manager (CIPM) and the Certified Information Privacy Technologist (CIPT) can also help individuals to better manage threats for cyberbullying. For example, a 2019 study by Rosa et al (2019) found that IAPP technologies such as automated cyberbullying detection and threat analysis systems may be effective at combating the vulnerabilities used by cyberbullies to exploit their victims, although this may not apply fully to all real world situations as datasets used to train these detection systems is incomplete (Rosa et al, 2019). Nonetheless, the study demonstrates that IAPP certifications such as the CIPP and CIPM can equip cybersecurity professionals with useful toolkits and skills to build robust information protection and cybersecurity systems that help to ward off cyberbullying. As one potential use case, CIPP and CIPM certifications may be used by cybersecurity professionals to automatically flag and remove cyberbullying content, such as nude pictures or slanderous posts, operated on school networks in public education institutions.

Furthermore, CIPP and CIPM certifications could be used to enhance privacy and data protection of consumer databases used by schools, companies and workplaces, in order to prevent the data in such databases from being exploited by unethical cyberbullies. These practices would also help organisations targeted by cyberbullies from suffering from poor compliance and risk mitigation practices, and would ensure that these organisations are compliant with jurisdictional laws, regulations and enforcement in combating the threats posed by cyberbullies.

Secondly, IAPP certifications can also train CIPP, CIPM and CIPT holders to more effectively identify the sources of cyberbullying. For example, in a study conducted by Lee & Shin (2016), it was found that boys had a high proportion of cyberbullying perpetration that girls, and girls tended to perpetrate cyberbullying through chat services. CIPP, CIPM and CIPT holders can be trained to adapt their strategies to target the main channels and platforms for cyberbullying accordingly. For example, these IAPP certification holders can implement internet protocol tracing tools to track suspicious activity back to a specific origination point, which may facilitate processes that hold cyberbullies accountable for their actions.

Finally, IAPP certifications can help to expose the anonymity of cyberbullies. Cyberbullying tends to be a highly attractive strategy for victimising a target, given the relative anonymity offered by cyberbullying tactics on social media and other channels. For example, cyberbullies can quickly establish fake social media accounts to post slanderous content on their targets, or use phishing emails to hack into the personal accounts of their targets to extract personally compromising images and information, which can then be used as part of a broader cyberbullying strategy.

However, as Bartlett et al (2016) demonstrated, aggressor-perceived anonymity is strongly linked to willingness to engage in cyberbullying behavior, and when such anonymity was removed, the aggressors and perpetrators of cyberbullying tend to withdraw from their cyberbullying behaviors. IAPP certified professionals can thus act on this by designing systems which are able to effectively track the origination of cyberbullying attacks, and publicly document them for disciplinary action by the relevant governing committees, such as a school disciplinary review committee or a corporate governance and human resources committee. This would therefore reduce the willingness of cyberbullies to engage in cyberbullying activities.

Worry about your grades?
See how we can help you with our essay writing service.

However, it is important to remember that IAPP certifications are typically only one part of a much larger and integrated strategy to fighting cyberbullies. Multiple stakeholders, such as parents, school administrators, teachers and political leaders need to take joint action in managing the issue of cyberbullying. Foremost, it is important for parents to contract with their children on reducing their time spent online to mitigate the impact of cyberbullying. In addition, political leaders should model effective behavior for responsible online activity, and should enact legislation that makes cyberbullies liable for the harms from their actions. In particular, the cyberbullying activities of President Donald Trump indicate a poor role model that would encourage further cyberbullying. Finally, teachers and school administrators should play a role in setting key values in the education and classroom environment, in order to discourage the prevalence of cyberbullying.

In conclusion, cybersecurity systems and processes built by IAPP certified professionals can play an important role in combating the threats posed by cyberbullying, of which the costs remain high. However, it is important to remember that cyberbullying remains an issue that cannot be solved by cybersecurity alone.


Aboujaoude, E., Savage, M. W., Starcevic, V., & Salame, W. O. (2015). Cyberbullying: Review of an old problem gone viral. Journal of adolescent health57(1), 10-18.

Ahn, A. J., Kim, B. S., & Park, Y. S. (2008). Adams, Helen. “Social Networking and Privacy: A Law Enforcement Per-spective.” School Library Media Activities Monthly 23 (2007): 33. Ahmad, Farah, Angela Shik, Reena Vanza, Angela Cheung, Usha George, and Donna E. Stewart.“Popular Health Promotion Strategies Among Chinese and East Indian Immigrant Women.” Women and Health 40. Psychology14(4), 38-41. Accessed 1 September 2020.

Barlett, C. P., Gentile, D. A., & Chew, C. (2016). Predicting cyberbullying from anonymity. Psychology of Popular Media Culture5(2), 171.

IAPP. Celebrities use cyberbullying to boost their brands, 2016, Accessed 2 September 2020.

IAPP. Resources on cyberbullying, 2018, Accessed 2 September 2020.

Kamberg, Mary-Lane. Cybersecurity: Protecting Your Identity and Data. The Rosen Publishing Group, Inc, 2017.

Lee, C., & Shin, N. (2017). Prevalence of cyberbullying and predictors of cyberbullying perpetration among Korean adolescents. Computers in human behavior68, 352-358.

Rosa, H., Pereira, N., Ribeiro, R., Ferreira, P. C., Carvalho, J. P., Oliveira, S., & Trancoso, I. (2019). Automatic cyberbullying detection: A systematic review. Computers in Human Behavior93, 333-345.

Cite this page

Choose cite format:
Online Chat Messenger Email
+44 800 520 0055