by Evan Judge, Director, Corporate Development
The foundation of the internet is trust. You trust that on the other end others are appropriately handling massive amounts of data. Currently, there’s uncertainty as to how thousands of companies should hold, collect, and control data.
Who wants my data?
Consumer data – in the most simplistic terms, our personal data – is a valuable resource, especially to the organizations that spend millions of dollars developing and selling technology to profit from it. The FTC in a recent workshop on cross-device tracking, stated, “… our mantra, [is] to build trust between consumers and businesses in an ethical marketplace: and I have a great deal of sympathy with anyone who has concerns with trust in the marketplace. We all do.”
What in the world is happening?
The data privacy and security landscape is undergoing radical change, across the globe. Most notably, Safe Harbor has been struck down. We are living in the Wild West of the data rush. Still, one thing is clear: we need for progressive and proactive conversations to keep the internet and consumer data safe and to set the example in the market research industry.
Where are we going?
The fallout from Safe Harbor presents us with an opportunity to step back and examine the future of the holistic data landscape. The international business community must collaborate. We’ve got to stop grandstanding and pointing fingers. The Wild West presents an opportunity for the data community to settle the issues, to dive deep and make sure its practices suit the consumer– the most important factor in the privacy equation.
How do we get there?
If recent court decisions have made anything clear, it is that we must play offense. Whether it means increasing protection and notification at the expense of ease and efficiency or waiting until we have rigid guidelines in place to evaluate the future, we undoubtedly must leave the door open and keep the dialogue flowing.
The data pool is not getting any smaller. An honest open dialogue can lead us together to decisive action.
If you’ve got thoughts, I’ve got ears. I’ve got ears either way though.