Now, don’t misunderstand me – I am not advocating Antisocial Networks. I have nothing against Social Networks used sensibly for sharing stuff BUT, like everyone else, I also have private and personal stuff, important to me, that I want to share quickly and conveniently with specific people and organisations. Similarly, as a business, I want to share and track confidential information with clients, companies and government. We need to redress the balance and I want to have the opportunity to manage my personal information online ‘under my control, with my consent, for my benefit’.
I have just read Rethinking Personal Data: Strengthening Trust from the World Economic Forum in collaboration with The Boston Consulting Group. They have reached the conclusions that we, at PAOGA, reached a decade ago – the internet is great BUT, to quote Scott McNealy, ex CEO of Sun, on consumer privacy back in 1999 “You have zero privacy anyway, – Get over it!”
I can still hear the slap of that gauntlet and we, along with others, rose to the challenge.
It took a further decade, comprising numerous media exposés of data loss, identity ‘theft’ and data ‘sales’, exacerbated by the emerging Social Networks, to alert individuals to the risks. But the tipping point was the financial market crash, followed by the expenses scandal, huge costs of the National ID Register and Medical Records, and the scale of recent hacking episodes for individuals, companies and governments to realise the value of Trusted Relationships in all aspects of our lives.
We are now at the point where Global, National and Local governments and organisations are recognising the growing concerns of individuals, as citizens, consumers, patients, etc. who are informed about the value of their personal information and the risks of uncontrolled access online.
Organisations are also recognising the substantial costs and risks they carry in storing, managing and protecting this data in compliance with increasingly stringent regulations. The penalties for ‘loss of data’ are significant but the commercial cost of ‘loss of trust’ even more damaging. The recent Sony data loss of 100 million account details is estimated to cost Sony and credit card issuers $1-2 billion.
I strongly advise you download and read the WEF document to realise the scale of the opportunity we look to address and the risks of non-compliance. It is not surprising the WEF defined ‘Personal Information’ as the New Asset Class.