Billion-Dollar Fines Evidence Rising Concern for Privacy
Given possible damage to corporate reputation, legal action from advocacy groups, and steep regulatory penalties such as the US$5 billion fine the US government slapped on Facebook for data breaches in 2015-2017, the issue of privacy is becoming a big concern, according to data privacy and compliance expert Emelie Kogut.
There are three data privacy challenges, she said, speaking in August at the US-Chilean Chamber of Commerce (Amcham), together with Alex Pessó from Microsoft and Héctor Lehuedé from Razor Consulting in an event co-sponsored by the Santiago Center.
First, there is a shifting privacy landscape with large countries such as India, Brazil, China, Australia and the US state of California, enacting or due to enact data protection laws. Second, data breaches have increased in the last few years, affecting large companies and high numbers of customers. And third, with internet the consumer base is global, with locally based companies perhaps having to respond to issues with customers located in far-away countries.
Enacting a robust data privacy program is not just a compliance burden, noted Kogut, who is a security executive at Accenture, as it needs to be an issue addressed by top management. At the same time a good program can be a market differentiator, showing customers that companies care and making those customers more loyal and engaged while strengthening the brand name.
Meanwhile, Pessó, the legal and corporate affairs director at Microsoft Chile, reviewed baseline privacy legislation. And data privacy consultant Lehuedé said that data protection became a significant concern for boards and management with the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) that entered into effect in 2018.
Data governance is an issue of policy, processes and people, said Lehuedé, highlighting the difference between data privacy – the people’s right to protect their private life – and data security, or data storage and processing systems and practices.
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