Why data security matters to your CX efforts

We investigate some of the factors impacting data security and why marketing and customer experience leaders should care

The AI/ML frontier

Another technological change agent in this mix is machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI). As both become more commoditised, organisations are extracting more and more insight from large personal data stores, processing data in new ways and exposing it to new privacy risks. And unlike many regulatory standards, modern privacy laws demand a fundamental transformation in how personal data is managed and cannot be dismissed with a narrow checkbox mentality.

Those in this environment see the opportunities for marketers as well as the resultant pressure on privacy.

“A lot of new cybersecurity products are driven by machine learning - marketers will be able to mine the data and improve predictive models and improve their targeting,” Carruthers says.

Kafouris sees machine learning as a way to support operational privacy implementation and where automation can apply. She predicts these kinds of new technologies will provide opportunities to build privacy by design, nominating blockchain as an example.

Read more about what blockchain is here

However, the more data organisations have, the more people can be identified, even if it has been anonymised. What’s more, data ethics is gaining increasing importance as ML and AI advance, also further raising the privacy stakes.

“Anonymisation and pseudonymisation are often misinterpreted as opportunities to not have to comply with privacy regulations; however, the full lifecycle of data must always be taken into account,” Kafouris says.

Seppelt-Don nominates the expanding rights of data subjects and “their right to obtain confirmation of whether their personal data is being processed, where and for what purpose” as part of these increasing responsibilities around protecting data.

“The consumer must be provided a copy of the personal data, free of charge, in an electronic format. This change is a dramatic shift to data transparency and empowerment of people,” she says.

Expanding rights of data subjects also increasingly includes data erasure, or the right to be forgotten, which allows someone to have the data controller erase his or her personal data.

This is about ceasing further dissemination of the data and also means potentially having third parties halt processing of such data, Seppelt-Don says. “It should also be noted this right requires businesses to compare the subjects’ rights to the public interest in the availability of the data when considering erasure.”

Data security checklist

So to help marketing and CX leaders get a better handle on modern data security, we’ve compiled a quick checklist:

  • Privacy needs to be more than just a check-box on the to do list.
  • Data security must be applied wherever data resides.
  • Look for ways to empower customers to control their data.
  • Use privacy consent and marketing for brand differentiation.
  • Prioritise privacy and data security across multichannel marketing.
  • Plan risk mitigation throughout the data lifecycle.
  • Data security technology must develop for consistent security policies across silos.
  • Look to machine learning (ML), blockchain and anonymization to meet new privacy requirements.
  • Data security technologies and identity and access management (IAM) technologies need to converge.


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