Before lockdown was even a thing and businesses were forced into working remotely, many leaders (across sectors) were starting to invest in Privacy by Design technology: primarily with the aim of driving innovation whilst remaining compliant with data privacy laws. This is because it enables businesses to continue exploring new collaborations with internal and external parties that have valuable and relevant data – while also protecting their customers’ personal information. According to Cisco’s Data Privacy Benchmark Study 2020, such investments into data privacy are paying off – with the study finding nearly half (47%) of the companies are seeing close to a threefold return.
With many leaders and teams facing the prospect of working from separate locations for at least the next few months, any form of data sharing is going to be a headache to navigate. Data breaches are a quick way for a business to suffer significant reputational and financial damage.
This raises the critical question: can Privacy by Design technology be an enabler for remote working teams, and still allow for seamless and secure data collaborations during lockdown?
The answer is a resounding ‘yes’, because such technology is built for privacy – no matter where the users happen to be sitting.
Here’s how this works: Privacy by Design technology – like Secure Data Exchanges – has been designed to protect, while being a catalyst for innovation. So by introducing technology that ensures you can share data without your customers’ personal information being required in the process, companies like Omnisient are eliminating the privacy risks, while you can continue to grow your business through innovative data sharing initiatives.
This may sound complex, but for the end user, it’s straightforward.
In essence, the technology enables a customer’s personal information (as defined by POPIA & GDPR) to be totally anonymized so that their preferences, behaviours and needs can still be analysed without any of their identifiable data being exposed. Customers are represented by a unique ‘token’ that contains no trace of their identity.
This means that whether you are building new risk models; trying to segment your customers; evaluate new data sources; partner strategically with another business and want to establish synergies; or need to share behaviours to calculate loyalty points, you don’t need personal information to do so.
From a practical point of view, it works like this: a desktop or server application is simply downloaded for the data custodian to anonymize all personal information and turn your customers into ‘tokens’ that can still have non-personal data attributes attached to it, like: “age range”; “generalised purchase behaviour (buys healthy food)”; “regional and postal area”; etc. None of these attributes identify the customer, but when it is associated with the customer’s “token” it can still be used for analytics, marketing personalisation, customer insights, new product development, etc, without compromising on privacy or security in any way.
This opens the door for data partnerships that can be nothing short of transformational.
Besides avoiding breach and privacy risk, each data owner also protects their intellectual property, because they are not sharing it with the other party, they are sharing the data to a cloud environment that acts as a “safe harbour” for the data. This element creates unique opportunities for data monetization, without compromising on your responsibilities to your client’s privacy.
At a time when many businesses are feeling constricted, Privacy by Design technology is opening up a new world of possibility – fuelling innovation whilst keeping data privacy top of mind. The time to act is now, in order to get ahead of a business ecosystem that is changing fast.