Companies that want to succeed in the long run must keep up with the times and adopt a privacy mindset. Businesses can continue to innovate without jeopardizing consumer trust by putting people at the center of strategy and leveraging technology that safeguards their privacy.
Addressing the challenges of data-driven transformation and also harnessing the right people, tech and tools that can extract crucial insights requires investment. Fear of offending regulators or destroying brand value also has implications for businesses, some of which are evident and others which are more subtle.
The surge of analysis paralysis that has engulfed organizations in today’s highly privacy-centric world is resulting in massive data waste, hindering growth in an economy where advanced analytics can help differentiate enterprises that struggle to survive from those that succeed in Industry 4.0.
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Massive Data Waste
Data waste is nothing new. Initially, the vast amounts of data that businesses accumulated were underutilized, since data was viewed as an asset that required new expertise and tools. However, as businesses realized how data could improve efficiency and the customer experience, the industry entered an era of data exploitation, which resulted in data misuse. This was the time when customers became more conscious of their digital identities, ‘data for gain’ became a source of conflict in society, and regulatory intervention grew.
While increased privacy regulation and enforcement has effectively introduced discipline to data handlers, it has also had detrimental implications, leading many firms to view their data as a possible liability instead of an asset for growth. Ironically, the same data innovations that carried businesses forward are now holding them back; this time, it’s fear of how to prevent a real risk, rather than ignorance of how to utilize an intangible asset, that’s causing huge data waste.
Rules Alone Aren’t Enough
Organizations are at a crossroads as they evaluate multiple competing variables, including consumer trust, commercial value, business strategy, and regulatory compliance. Because these criteria appear to be incompatible, no decisions are taken for fear of making a mistake.
To break the blockade and propel data-driven innovation ahead, a comprehensive rethinking of data privacy is essential. Regulations can no longer be the sole topic of discussion. Instead, businesses must be honest with themselves and accept that following the regulations alone will not help them overcome the current challenges they face.
Businesses can learn from advanced companies when it comes to data analytics to break free from the data waste that causes analysis paralysis. These companies are turning to privacy-enhancing technologies (PETs) to solve a two-fold problem – how to get value from their data while also handling privacy concerns. Governments must also promote positive positioning and generate market incentives that guide a conversation about ethical data practices that stimulate rather than inhibit innovation.
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Innovation Using PETs
Experts advocate for PET innovation rather than focusing solely on privacy regulations. By changing the narrative to one of empowerment, organizations will be able to break free from their privacy cage. This provides a practical solution to unlocking data and promotes a solution that will allow businesses to overcome the trust crisis while also boosting the trust economy.
Businesses can conduct safer and more responsible analytics on their data by adopting privacy-enhancing technology that can assess and reduce privacy risk. PETs also provide organizations with more than just a safety net because they are designed to unlock value and maintain privacy.
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