Consumer Data Privacy

Publish: April 11, 2018

The momentum of digitization witnessed among various business sectors has led to unprecedented amount of collection, processing, sharing and exchanging of consumer information. While data is central to the process of digitization, it is important to incorporate data privacy centric designs for security and privacy, especially keeping in mind the growing regulatory interventions in this space.

Digitization also unleashes a variety of new possibilities. The core aspect of digitization is innovating and finding new ways of engaging with customers and the personal data of the consumer is central to this process.

While organizations tend to take adequate measures to protect consumer privacy, consumer data is increasingly crossing the organizational boundary due to the ubiquitous nature of digitization. Regulatory requirements, obligations and liabilities are increasingly making organizations accountable for consumer privacy. For successful digitization, garnering confidence of consumers and satisfying increasing obligations, enterprises should look for extending their reach of privacy protection beyond their organizational boundary. They should enable consumers with instruments, tools and alternatives to protect their data in diverse operating environments.

Many regulatory standards for personal data protection primarily focus on security and privacy protection measures within an organisation but many remain silent when it comes to protection of consumer data once it leaves an organisation’s proverbial boundary. However, there has been a paradigm shift in the regulatory approach to personal data protection which can be seen in many legislations such as the EU-GDPR, UK Data Protection Bill, 2017, Qatar: Protection of Privacy of Personal Data Act,2016, etc. that fix the onus of protection of personal data throughout its lifecycle on the organisation, covering many instances of processing and mandating security practices to be a part of these processing activities to protect consumer privacy.

Objectives of data privacy should be changed to include the requirements of protection in the consumer environment. The digitization plans wouldn’t get materialized if consumer data is insecure, no matter it lies within or beyond boundaries of enterprises. In fact, the dream of one trillion-dollar digital economy lies in the ability of sharing data in more elastic ways. However, it would have to satisfy the condition of maintaining the desired level of security and privacy. Security of data in consumer environment would play an important role.

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