Data Privacy Day, observed January 28, intends to raise awareness and promote privacy and data protection best practices. 30 years have passed since the world wide web was introduced, and it’s only been around 15 years since Facebook, Twitter, and the iPhone appeared. Over the last two years alone, 90 percent of the data in the world was generated. We are in a digital economy where data is more valuable than ever, where our digital footprint represents more about our identities than the physical world. Combine this data collection with the advancements in artificial intelligence, and data becomes one of our most valuable assets.
In 2019, there is an awareness around privacy concerns and companies that collect, store, mine, and sell data; often without their knowledge. Businesses can find themselves flooded with personal data, and the increase liabilities associated with that data. In response to this concern, and data breaches, governments worldwide are introducing new privacy regulations, such as GDPR and California Consumer Protection Act. Privacy concerns are thought to be the cause of Facebook losing about 1 million of European monthly active users in the second quarter of 2018. Google was fined €50 million under GDPR for transparency and consent infringements in relation to the use of personal data for personalized ads.
As the digital economy demand increases, consumer privacy will certainly become more valuable. Digital strategies can embrace privacy principles as an opportunity for differentiation. Take Microsoft for example, who is advancing facial recognition technology and the need for government regulation and responsible industry measure. Privacy of personal information can be used as competitive differentiator, with transparency over what data is being collected and how it is used.
Businesses can embrace a data model with Privacy by Design for best practices in order to protect personal data and comply with regulations such as GDPR. Businesses that embrace privacy principles by default will drive a new business model that will boost consumer confidence and trust. This new model shifts the governance structure from one that is centrally owned and maintained, to one which embeds a collaborative form of ownership over the digital digital identity and custodianship.
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