Data Privacy is coming of age…but requires further work

The world population has reached 7.4 billion, with 1.3 billion people routinely working remotely and according to Gartner, there will 6.4 Billion Connected “Things” in use this year, up 30% from 2015, suggesting human behaviours are changing at a staggering pace. Data services are the lifeblood of most businesses, and any disruption can lead to lost revenue and missed opportunities. If protecting business operations is a priority, you need a solid plan in place to reduce downtime and prevent data loss or you could be putting your business and your reputation at risk

In a recent EY privacy and security survey, 38% of respondents admit that they address security in new business processes and technologies, but not privacy specifically. Even more concerning is that when it comes to managing privacy, nearly half (46%) of survey respondents admitted that their main concern is NOT having a clear picture of where personal information is stored or processed outside of their main systems and servers (something that will not be tolerated under GDPR).

This is further exacerbated by the fact that for 40% of the respondents also confirmed that their other concern is that there are simply not enough people to support their privacy program. In a world where laws, regulations, legacy technology and business models cannot keep pace with digital change, the question many are asking is: can privacy really be protected anymore and whom should be leading these privacy programs?

Almost daily, we read about how cybersecurity and/or data privacy breaches are eroding consumer and people’s trust, and according to Robert Hanningan – Director at the UK’s GCHQ “the threat is growing in number, sophistication and impact”. So we simply cannot neglect the ever-increasing role that data privacy (and security) has in supporting any collection, storage or transfer of personal data. Because both privacy and security share common objectives and principles, both require satisfactory safeguards and assurances across the entire business operations, including its processes, its technology and its people.

…while the value of data to any brand is becoming clearer, the ability
for industry to access sustainable data flows should not be taken for
granted.

By 2018 there will be nearly 4 billion global internet users and 21 billion networked devices connecting people across the world. Personal Data is fuelling innovation, reshaping people’s experiences and driving economic growth in the global digital economy. The ability for industry and key brands to access, analyse and generate insights from data promises to enable unique relationships with millions of people around the world, driving relevance, while reducing waste, spam and cost to all involved.

Yet, while the value of data to any brand is becoming clearer, the ability for industry to access sustainable data flows should not be taken for granted. Safeguarding data privacy and cybersecurity is one of the biggest challenges we face. Technological innovation continues to accelerate the concept of privacy and cybersecurity, a digital era is evolving, creating challenges for industry, governments and people.

And this is not easy to achieve, even if we have in place clear (and legal) policies and a comprehensive privacy and cybersecurity compliance regime; many organisations will continue to be vulnerable from hackers, activists and human error.

So as the onus of accountability shifts from regulators to organisations (and individuals), organisations will need to take heed of where they are in terms of their privacy maturity and what they need to do to make privacy protection a part of everything in an organisation, this is not simply a question of legal compliance – this is a business problem, that requires collaboration, vision, strong leadership and direct sponsorship from the Board.

Likeminded or disagree? I would like to hear your views.

Interested in continuing the discussion? Join Steve on the GDPR Focus Day taking place at Chief Data Officer Europe. Discover the agenda here and secure your place to be in the room!

By Steve Wright:

data privacy is coming of age...but requires further work

Steve is passionate about big data and all things digital. With more than 20 years’ experience, designing, developing, managing and delivering transformational data governance, privacy and security programmes, Steve’s vast experience as a pragmatic and charismatic leader, ideally places him as the ‘trusted advisor’ to the Board on all privacy and security related matters.

Steve’s work involves proactively communicating with Data Protection Authorities from around the world and regularly training lawyers, marketers, HR and R&D personnel to ensure that they understand and know their responsibilities. LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/stevewright1970

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