Data brings both promise and peril.
Leaders face a dilemma between data as a critical component of their competitive strategy and the risk from regulators and distrustful customers inherent in data collection and use.
Capturing data, leveraging its value and retaining that data as an asset is the lifeblood of corporate strategies across boardrooms. But years of accruing data at all costs, negligence around protecting it and failure to be transparent have left consumers jaded and regulators reactive. These are significant risks. The imperative to change becomes more acute with the latest breakthroughs in data-fueled Artificial Intelligence.
In the past, businesses put questions of privacy and data ethics aside. Leaders failed to risk-adjust and chased data collection as part of growth at all costs. Repeated scandals resulted in a lack of consumer trust, an increased regulatory burden, and an erosion of brand value.
Today, change is accelerating. The next logical step from Big Data is the new technological leaps emerging in AI. Those advances will create immense value for consumers, but we must learn from the past and preserve safety and privacy. The same questions of ethical data use temper the benefits of tools like OpenAI’s GPT-3.
There’s a new risk now, where the entrenched mindset of consumers and regulators (however justified) hampers the next wave of innovation. The hazard is a society less well-off as a result. Businesses must lead the change.
It is not just a social responsibility for business but a competitive necessity in risky markets to be careful stewards of data. Accordingly, firms must enact ethical data principles: a social contract of privacy, ownership, transparency, objectivity, and accountability surrounding data’s lifecycle from its collection, to useful application, to retention.
Join us on the journey to build a more responsible future where companies should and can be trusted stewards of people’s data and where innovation is once again synonymous with good.
This document outlines:
The last 30 years of data management innovation have focused on crunching more data efficiently. The next 30 years must focus equally on extracting value more responsibly.
We hold three fundamental beliefs about data to truly achieve an ethical internet:
To start the journey towards an Ethical Data Ecosystem and realize the full value of coming technical change, we must, as leaders, demand our organizations adopt a posture of data stewardship and implement ethical data principles in everyday business practices.
Across the data lifecycle - from data collection to retention – five core ethical data principles will enable trust without stifling innovation:
Step 1: Organizational Commitment and Vision Match
If you understand and agree with theseprinciples, the first step is to personally join us in committing to pushethical data use forward as a critical consideration in your organization. Youcan do this by introducing the concept of data stewardship to keydecision-makers to drive awareness and buy-in at the strategic level.
Step 2: Communicate the Principles and Empower Others
Move from the strategic vision match of data stewardship to the specifics of ethical data principles applied in practice. Get other leaders on board and bought-in. Communicate to the practitioner level: how are they considering ethical data use? What do they need in resources to be empowered to meet each principle?
Step 3: Develop the Data Stewardship Muscle
Start with small wins. Plan for visible system improvements, create those improvements, and recognize the teams and employees involved. Then, tie the ethical data principles back to clear business outcomes, like consumer trust and customer retention.
Ready to enact change? Access our Partner Directory or sign-up at the link below for our Ethical Data Use Toolbox