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​Why concern for personal data is the new corporate value

February 07, 2019


By Christel Cao-Delebarre
Global Privacy Officer, CWT

There’s a lot being done these days to promote corporate values. While some values are identified across corporations, other company values may consciously align with a political movement, social trend or global concern.

When integrated into a corporate brand, and depending on how effective the messaging is, corporate values can help companies differentiate from competitors. Take Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) for example. Socially diverse businesses whose workforce and leadership represents a healthy mix of genders, ethnicities, and beliefs, attract more talent and financially outperform homogenous organizations.

In 2019, if you’re a brand that values longevity, you need to stand for something. In the wake of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), one can argue that protecting personal data is the new corporate value to stand for.

Embrace the brave new world

To keep a place in the digital future, consider GDPR just the beginning of a new era in global privacy.

Though one of the most significant changes in the history of data protection laws to-date, GDPR is only the first stitch in a digital tapestry that will weave individual data protection and security into the DNA of technology - from routine baseline IT processing to Artificial Intelligence, machine learning, blockchain, and more.

Invest now to integrate data protection as a business value or risk facing a future of complicated issues. In some cases, they can lead to disrupting your business plans.

Brave New World: Invest now or risk complications in the future.

Expand the right efforts around data protection and privacy

A  report by communications company Fleishman Hillard revealed that more than 80% of consumers rate data protection and security as ‘very important’ – ahead of healthcare and education in the U.K and freedom of speech in the U.S.

Companies that fail to embed responsible data measures or fail to innovate in doing so, will become dinosaurs in a forward-thinking environment based on transparency and prior consent.

Online, every individual can be viewed as a de-humanised avatar. Except that they’re not. They are someone’s grandpa whose password is ‘p-a-s-s-w-o-r-d’ or a child whose birthday party pictures on Instagram are creating his marketing profile of the future. Misuse of data can obliterate bottom lines and influence political outcomes. Meanwhile, data is a valuable currency, and the vultures are circling with sophisticated ransomware for commercial attacks.

Digital footprint: Protecting individual data is a value to stand for.

Stay on course

It’s no easy task to transform the perception of data protection from a box-ticking exercise to an integral corporate value; it involves deep behavioral change. It starts with a top-down approach and requires a long-term investment in time and money. It grows through the design, embedding and repetition of procedures and processes, formalized within an organized structure, and nurtured in every employee via an additional bottom-up layer.

As the world evolves at breakneck speed, those who stay on course with their data protection initiatives can expect to stay current. And it’s the right thing to do after all. It’s a value to stand for.


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