Technology, and the vast scores of data underpinning our every interaction and transaction, has unquestionably made our lives better, more efficient and more fulfilled.
Yet in recent years, the drawbacks have become glaringly evident, too. Privacy invasions. Misuse or outright theft of personal information. Security breaches. Our own data used to meddle in political and belief systems around the world.
As a direct consequence, privacy and security have rocketed up the consideration list.
Concerns increasingly impact the way consumers think, act and behave. Sixty-three percent now say that privacy concerns have made them less likely to use products and services from companies that use data for their own benefit.
And in this context, data security and privacy now top the list of issues consumers most want companies to take a stand on — ahead even of healthcare provision and protection of the environment.
But what to do? Where to start? And how to win? Security and privacy are issues that know no national boundaries. That metamorphose at breakneck speed. Whose origins often stem from bad actors or bad actions. And that are subject to increasing polarization, politicization and regulation.
In this complex environment, enlightened enterprises are seeing the direct link between long-term survival and robust reputations and brand integrity. Customers need complete trust in their ability to protect data. They need a plan, approach and strategy. They need both internal and external commitments to working with government, regulators, academia and each other. They need to behave in ethical, socially responsible ways. They need to not only do the most profitable thing, but do the right thing too.
Sophie Scott is global managing director, leading FleishmanHillard’s technology practice group across all regions. You can reach her here.