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January means it’s time to mark data privacy

Enterprises are increasingly searching for ways to access and distribute data, but privacy must remain key.

Cloud computing allows firms to cut costs and hassle by having outside firms host their data and provide processing power for certain applications - © AFP
Cloud computing allows firms to cut costs and hassle by having outside firms host their data and provide processing power for certain applications - © AFP

Towards the end of January each year, Data Privacy Day (known in Europe as Data Protection Day) is marked. For 2022, the day is marked on January 28th. In technology circles, the event helps to set the agenda for the year’s privacy conversations.

The aim of the day is to raise awareness and promote privacy and data protection best practices. In some parts of the world, the day has been expanded to a week’s worth of promotional events. These seek to “empower individuals and business to respect privacy, safeguard data and enable trust.”

Although we live in an increasingly digital world, too many people give little thought to data privacy – at least not until after their personal data has been compromised.

This is also something that is timely for businesses as well as enterprises are increasingly searching for ways to access and distribute data to help bring a more personalized experience for consumers while remaining compliant with privacy regulations.

Data privacy expert Rina Shainski, Chairwoman and Co-Founder of Duality Technologies, has provided Digital Journal with some key insights into the challenges and opportunities facing the data economy in 2022 and how privacy can best be guaranteed amid rising digitization.

Shainski explains how digital data affects everyone: “As a result of the phenomenal pace at which the COVID-19 pandemic accelerated digital transformation, almost every industry is in the midst of re-engineering its products and processes in order to ensure a “digital-first” experience.”

Much of this data relates to people, however, as Shainski points out: “While in general this trend stands to benefit the end user, thanks to higher levels of efficiency, convenience and personalization, there is a looming threat to personal privacy involved, especially as digitization often relies on increased data sharing.”

Shainski finds that businesses are having to respond to and grapple with two concepts. So, to mitigate this, Shainski says: “Industries must combine the “digital-first” processes with “privacy-first” capabilities – in order to offer a personalized and safe user experience to customers while complying with growing privacy regulations. With data misuse by hackers, fraudsters and other bad actors on the rise, baking privacy into digital services from the get-go is the best way to ensure that 2021’s digital transformation doesn’t turn into 2022’s privacy and trust crisis.”

Written By

Dr. Tim Sandle is Digital Journal's Editor-at-Large for science news. Tim specializes in science, technology, environmental, and health journalism. He is additionally a practising microbiologist; and an author. He is also interested in history, politics and current affairs.

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