Digital Trust: Leveraging Technology to Put Consumers in the Driver’s Seat

Jul 18, 2023
Corporate | 5 min READ
This article was originally published in The Financial Express - Source link
User data is increasingly being used to drive business growth, regardless of the enterprise size. This trend is fueled by innovative technologies like Internet of Things (IoT), Generative AI, Cloud, Web3.0, the Metaverse, and Quantum Computing.
Roop Singh
Roop Singh

Chief Executive Officer



Jeff Weiner, LinkedIn’s former CEO, once said, “Data powers everything that we do.” And indeed, it does. The last couple of years have shown us how enterprises, large or small, are leveraging data on user interests and preferences to gather business intelligence. Emerging technologies such as connected IoT devices, Generative AI, Cloud, Web3, Metaverse, and Quantum Computing are revolutionizing our lives.
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This trend will only continue to grow, as reports suggest that over 90% of businesses are planning to enhance their spending across major mainstream digital technologies.
With the increasing amount of personal data being collected and analyzed to drive innovation, the risks associated with privacy breaches have also been manifold. This has led to growing concerns about the use of personal data, including the potential for discrimination, surveillance, and misuse of personal information. The truth is with big Data comes big responsibility.
Preparing for a cookie-less future
One of the primary concerns about technology, especially the cloud, is the potential of unauthorized access to sensitive data. Since cloud providers store data on their servers, there is a risk that hackers could gain access to that data and use it for malicious purposes. Additionally, the use of cloud services also involves the transfer of data over the internet, which could be intercepted and accessed by unauthorized third parties.
A survey by PWC reveals that for 77% of business executives, cybercrime is the biggest organisational threat, with 62% highlighting insider threat as a challenge. Additionally, one in four companies globally has suffered a data breach that cost them USD 1–20 million or more in the past three years.
When it comes to Indian business executives, the numbers are equally telling, with 43% of respondents saying their organisation is yet to fully mitigate the risks associated with remote and hybrid work.
Stakeholders, therefore, are paying close attention to a brand’s data practices and are likely to dissociate from businesses that fail to meet public expectations on data use. And now, with Google announcing the phase-out of third-party cookies, marketers will need to invest in technology to maximize their security infrastructure, build cyber resilience, and create a transparent ecosystem, to safeguard their customers data.
No conversation on emerging technologies can be complete without discussing the revolutionary role of Generative AI. This technology indeed has many exciting applications, such as creating realistic virtual environments and improving medical diagnoses. But as Generative AI becomes more sophisticated, there is a risk that it could be used to generate fake or manipulated content. There is also a danger of it perpetuating biases. For example, if an algorithm is trained on data that is biased against a particular group of people, the output generated by the algorithm may also be biased against that group. This can lead to discriminatory outcomes, such as unfair hiring in employment, that can work against certain groups of people.
Strategies to earn digital trust
To foster a truly secure digital ecosystem, we will need to build both human and digital trust into the design of every process. This also means businesses will have to be transparent both internally and externally and disclose how data is collected, shared, and for what purpose they are collecting it, thereby reassuring users that the process is secure.
There are several ways of achieving this:
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Create responsible AI. In the case of Generative AI, policymakers and technology companies must ensure that the algorithms are transparent and can be audited for bias or misuse, as well as implementing strong data protection and security measures to prevent unauthorized access or manipulation of data. Additionally, it is important for individuals to be aware of the potential privacy risks associated with Generative AI and to take steps to protect their personal data. This may include being cautious about sharing personal information online or using trusted sources of information.
Build a culture of privacy. To mitigate the privacy risks and close gaps in business processes, companies need to analyze their business life cycle and ensure all the processes fulfill regulatory requirements. This also includes acquiring the right data privacy software to create a safe, encrypted connection, maintaining privacy hygiene practices, and making consumers aware of the same. This must be accompanied by privacy awareness sessions among employees that include training on how to handle sensitive data and safeguard personal information.
Deliver on commitments. Following through on every commitment made is a great way to build trust. For this, businesses need to first identify what they can and cannot deliver and communicate this clearly to stakeholders. In a market that’s fiercely competitive, even a single slip-up can impact consumer confidence and business integrity.
Implement intelligent threat monitoring and response. Threat detection and response solutions are a crucial part of an organization’s security strategy. Threat intelligence monitoring can identify attacks in real-time and enable businesses to take quick action to counter them. They can even tailor security arrangements depending on the nature of the threats they face.
Deploy cloud security controls. Cloud storage can prevent unauthorized access and data leakage. Given its flexibility and scalability, cloud controls can also be embedded over multiple layers and selected basis the model type (IaaS, PaaS, SaaS) or tailored depending on the cloud environment (public, hybrid, private).
Embrace first-party data. With walled gardens and regulatory requirements pulling the curtain on third-party data, businesses will have to migrate to first-party data, which is basically information collected from your audience through your owned digital channels. This data can help marketers earn consumers’ trust as the latter has consented for you to use their data.
No trust, no gain
As we move forward, digital trust and transparency will only gain more importance in an increasingly hyper-connected world. And trust, they say, must be earned. For this, enterprises will have to constantly evaluate their practices and invest in data privacy strategies that place customer relationships at their core. It is through responsible tech that we can make customers feel secure and strengthen their relationship with the business.
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