We all have been aware of the headlines made by Cambridge Analytica, Equifax, and the like with their impact on business and politics. The major connection in these scandals was the misuse of Data. Frequent exposure to the internet and digital mediums is a compulsion for social as well as financial requirements. In such scenarios, data protection is an unconditional expectation not just from the primary institutions like government or financial, but also from tertiary companies like social media, e-commerce, and other digital retailers.
The responsible use of data has become a matter of concern and so is the data governance policy for industry as well as users. The rise of global surveillance due to data misuse alongside high-profile scandals has led to the development of new legal and regulatory standards worldwide. Governments and private institutions are facing challenges every day on protecting personal data, ensuring privacy rights, and fostering trust in data transactions.
While some countries have made significant progress in introducing comprehensive data protection laws, others still struggle to establish robust frameworks. This evolving landscape of data governance needs instant adoption by examining key developments, legal mechanisms, and the significance of trust in facilitating the responsible use and reuse of data.
Safeguards: Establishing a Trustworthy Data Environment
The keyword “Safeguards” in data governance, refer to the measures put in place for creating a trusted environment for data collection and use. These safeguards comprise mechanisms that support an individual’s control over their personal data, including consent and rights of data use. Personal data safeguards are a rights-based framework that has evolved over time based on the principles established in international law. They have been refined to address challenges posed by technology advancements to adapt to the digital age.
Requiring consent and lawful bases for data collection and processing
To address power imbalances between individuals and data collectors/processors, a rights-based approach to personal data protection is needed. This approach grants individuals fundamental rights regarding their personal data, protecting them against unauthorized disclosure, surveillance, unfair targeting, discrimination, and unjust treatment. These rights also ensure transparency, and accountability, and also allow individuals to object to data use. While many countries have adopted data protection laws, their quality and enforcement vary. Recent updates to data protection laws like GDPR, PIPEDA, and CCPA are landmark steps to building robust data protection legislation.
Purpose and Processing Mechanisms
Data protection laws commonly rely on individual consent with clarity of purpose for regulating data collection and processing. Data processors should adapt consent mechanisms to ensure individuals truly understand why and how their data is used along with the rights to keep or delete when required. Instead of relying solely on individual consent, there are other ways to protect data.
One approach is the “legitimate purpose” test, which means that data can only be used for compatible and beneficial purposes that align with the original reason for collecting it. Another concept is the fiduciary duty approach, which requires companies handling data to act in the best interests of the individuals whose data they have. This helps to build trust and confidence that data is being used responsibly. The fiduciary duty approach requires data processors to act in the best interests of data subjects, establishing trust and confidence in responsible data use.
Addressing Technological Challenges
Rapid technological advancements in data processing, machine learning, and artificial intelligence pose challenges to existing data protection frameworks. Traditional models assume individuals voluntarily provide their information, while data analysis increasingly relies on observed or inferred data obtained through passive scraping or statistical techniques.
The use of linked datasets raises concerns about the effectiveness of anonymization in protecting personal data. Anonymized data can still be reidentified when linked, blurring the line between personal and nonpersonal data. The true value potential of data can only be unlocked when privacy policies are built contextually, are aligned to an individual’s choice, and are compliant with laws and regulations.
Dealing with Automated Processing
The increased use of algorithms for the automated processing of personal data brings both benefits and challenges. Only a small percentage of countries have measures to restrict decision-making based on the automated processing of personal data via algorithms. Principles for algorithmic regulation are emerging at national and international levels, emphasizing transparency and an inclusive approach. Some countries have taken steps to promote transparency and accountability, such as publishing algorithms’ source code and revising procurement rules.
Data Protection: A Vital Imperative for Safeguarding Customer Information across Industries
Today, Data protection needs to be kept paramount in industries like healthcare, retail, oil, financial as well as social media. Employing tokenization and encryption to safeguard customer payment details along with a focus on secure network infrastructure is a need of the hour.
Social media companies implement advanced security measures like encryption and two-factor authentication to protect user data and foster trust. The responsible governance of data is an ongoing endeavor, with legal frameworks continually evolving to address emerging challenges. Safeguards, a rights-based approach to personal data protection, adaptation to technological challenges, and regulations for automated processing are crucial elements in establishing responsible data use.
As the world becomes increasingly interconnected and data-driven, ScikIQ has championed managing and providing the utmost value of Data as an asset. The platform is working in alignment with the needs of government and private institutions in creating a trustworthy data environment, protecting privacy, fostering innovation, and ensuring data is used responsibly for the benefit of society.
https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/it-privacy/#ImpInfTecPri https://ico.org.uk/media/for-organisations/guide-to-the-general-data-protection-regulation-gdpr/lawful-basis-for-processing-1-0.pdf. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0740624X20302719 https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S1084804517302229?via%3Dihub
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