Tech Quarterly

Essential data privacy insights from Q3 20

In this Data Privacy Tech Quarterly

The COVID-19 pandemic has raised a host of privacy concerns around data sharing that organisations and governments must address.

5 minute read

August 3, 2020 8:29 pm

1. Privacy key to businesses’ post-pandemic response

Privacy ranked as one of the top areas in which CXOs plan to invest following the COVID-19 pandemic, according to research conducted by Constellation Research. While the public health crisis and responses like contact tracing have tested limits on individuals’ right to privacy, Constellation advises organisations that “protecting client privacy builds trust in today’s chaotic and apocalyptic environment”.

2. Retailers must respect customers’ privacy to build loyalty

New regulations from the UK’s Information Commissioner’s Office and US states could threaten retail marketing techniques such as personalisation and real-time bidding, according to Forrester analysts. Retailers must respond to these regulations and minimise poor data ethics around user behaviour and biometric data to build customer trust and loyalty, they say.

3. Zoom offers end-to-end encryption for free version<

The rise of remote working during the COVID-19 pandemic meant a surge in usage of Zoom’s videoconferencing software. After being widely criticised for not encrypting communications on the free version of its software, the company announced it would offer AES 256 GCM – “one of the strongest encryption standards in use today” – for all Zoom users.

4. Privacy ranks among top 21 risks to businesses in next decade

Privacy and disinformation are among the top short-term risks for organisations to manage over the next 10 years, according to Frost & Sullivan. By taking a global approach and thinking beyond current privacy standards, organisations can find opportunities for growth instead of risking potential damage from abusing individuals’ privacy.

5. IDC: Blockchain spending slows to $4.3bn in 2020

Because of reduced IT spend and weak economic growth as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, IDC predicts worldwide spending on blockchain solutions will hit $4.3 billion in 2020, up 57 per cent from $2.7 billion in 2019. This prediction is 7.7 per cent lower than forecasts made before the pandemic. Hospitality, transportation, personal and consumer services, and construction will be the hardest-hit sectors.

6. Blockchain to reduce government corruption

A new independent study conducted by the Blockchain and Digital Currency team in the World Economic Forum Centre is investigating whether the use of blockchain and cryptocurrency technologies could help fight corruption in world governments. In particular, it looks at how the technology could increase transparency and fairness in vendor selection for the public procurement process.

7. ‘Create a track-and-trace smartphone app that protects privacy’

Contact tracing applications that monitor those who have come in contact with an infected individual could help slow the spread of COVID-19 – but they also raise privacy concerns over sharing personal location data. A study from researchers at the University of California, Irvine, shows how to create a ‘track-and-trace’ smartphone app that keeps user data anonymous, thus encouraging widespread usage of such apps to fight coronavirus and other infectious diseases.

8. Respecting user data makes for better business

Organisations affected by the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) should embrace the proper management of individuals’ data rights, says a report from the Digital Clarity Group. Giving customers control over how their data is used “encourages them to provide more and richer data that informs ever more effective experiences”, it argues.

9. How to maintain data ethics during a pandemic

How can organisations protect customer data even as governments track individuals’ movements to stop the spread of COVID-19? Gartner offers advice on proper data ethics, including collaborating with others in making data-sharing decisions, continually evaluating any temporary measures and reviewing how you share data.

10. US law aims to ban facial recognition tech

A new law proposed in the US Congress calls for law enforcement – including the FBI and local and state police forces – to stop using facial recognition technology because it poses a threat to personal privacy. The legislation would place a moratorium on facial recognition and prevent police forces using the technology from receiving federal funds.

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