Today, inclusive financial products are fueled by ever-growing volumes of digital consumer data, primarily collected by mobile phones. Coupled with advances in analytics and innovations in data sharing, the face of privacy has changed radically. Despite the growing interest in Privacy by Design (PbD), a systems-engineering approach that calls for companies to consider privacy throughout the engineering process, current approaches overlook the growing importance of product managers in digital and software product development. This playbook, a first-of-its-kind knowledge product for the inclusive finance sector, aims to fill that gap and demonstrate a comprehensive way to integrate responsible data practices into the design process.

The Privacy as Product Playbook is based on the central tenets and emerging practices in Privacy by Design and is animated by unique considerations for inclusive finance product teams. The accompanying brief is intended for all practitioners in the inclusive finance space, sharing the rationale and approach for the playbook and discussing three key challenges for implementation that were uncovered when designing the playbook, how the playbook attempts to address them, and what learning questions remain.

This playbook and brief are a result of CFI’s partnership with PayPal’s Global Privacy Team.


Alex Rizzi

Senior Research Director, Consumer Data Opportunities and Risks

Since joining CFI in 2012, Alex has been an advocate for consumer protection and evidence-based inclusive finance practices.

She manages the responsible data practices research portfolio at CFI which focuses on opportunities and risks for low-income consumers from data-driven financial services. Previously, she was a senior director for CFI’s Smart Campaign initiative, where she managed consumer-protection learning agendas and helped launch the Client Protection Certification Program.

Prior to joining CFI, Alex was a project development manager at Innovations for Poverty Action, where she helped create its microsavings and payments innovation initiative (now part of its global financial inclusion initiative), a research fund focused on impact evaluations of savings products and payment systems. She also worked at the Centre for Microfinance at IFMR Research (now Krea University) in Chennai, India, where she was the head of knowledge management and dissemination.

She has participated in multiple industry working groups on responsible finance, including an advisory group to GSMA’s mobile money certification program and the Microfinance Center’s social performance fund steering committee.

Alex is a graduate of Princeton University and holds a master’s degree from Georgetown’s foreign service school, as well as a certificate in digital money from the Digital Frontiers Institute and The Fletcher School at Tufts University. She speaks conversational French and needs to work on her Italian.

Dr. Maritza Johnson


Dr. Maritza Johnson aims to make it simpler for people to enjoy technological advancements in a way that aligns with their preferences for how their data is collected and used. Her current focus is on shaping how organizations design and deploy data systems.  She’s an expert on human-centered security and privacy, and her industry experience includes working as a user experience researcher on identity, security, and privacy at Google, and as a technical privacy manager at Facebook. She completed her PhD at Columbia University and wrote her dissertation on end-user access control, including researching whether people can correctly manage their Facebook privacy settings.

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