Data is the lifeblood of business. Every day companies digitally capture an ever increasing amount of information about consumers’ lives, behavior and online activity. Nearly every online interaction a business has with its customers and potential customers involves sharing something potentially sensitive: a password, an address, a credit card number, location, even DNA. This proliferation of data can bring many benefits, helping businesses and consumers make decisions more efficiently. But it also brings great challenges, particularly in protecting the privacy of sensitive information and safeguarding individual identities.
Cyber-attacks and data breaches fill the news, near-daily reminders of the risks associated with acquiring and holding sensitive data. Security infringements and sales of personal information represent growing risk to enterprises and consumers. Along with financial loss, Brands suffer reputational damage and regulatory sanctions when they mismanage or fail to protect personal information. With consumer data-protection laws emerging globally, investment to safeguard sensitive information is unavoidable. But many businesses are taking a sub-optimal approach to privacy management.
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