The personal data wake-up call business needs to hear

By Jason du Preez - March 28, 2018

To borrow a phrase, with great power comes great responsibility. The scandal that has erupted around Facebook and Cambridge Analytica this week has shocked the markets, with billions wiped off the value of Facebook and social media stocks hitting the skids as investors fear a regulatory backlash.

The situation appears to be a dereliction of duty, with politicians on both sides of the pond demanding answers. Privacy has never been higher in the public or political consciousness.

It is not just politicians, investors, and shocked users of social media who are following the story closely.

Companies around the world – from banks to telecommunications firms to retailers – hold huge amounts of personal data on their customers, and will be considering carefully what this news means for them.

Undoubtedly, technological advances in data analysis have brought huge benefits to our daily lives. Just think about how you now shop or how your bank prevents fraud when you are on holiday.

Data-driven insight enables businesses to improve customer experiences and drive profitability.

However, up until the introduction of the EU-wide General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), the huge power of personal data has been left largely unchecked. This week’s news will set so-called big data back, but I do believe that it is an important wake-up call to business....

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