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Customer data - walking the line between helpful innovation and invasion of privacy

14 Oct 16

Everyone is worried about privacy these days. More information about you exists in more places today than ever before in history.

Collecting and using customer data is not a bad thing. Organisations need that data to deliver products and services customers want. The issue is where to draw the line between using customer data to deliver helpful new capabilities and invading customer privacy. The October 11 episode of Modern Workplace provided guidance on how organisations can manage these tricky policy decisions.

Hillery Nye, chief privacy officer at Glympse, explained how the startup company made a very conscious decision to not collect data that it could have easily gathered from its real-time location sharing app. The company collects customer data and uses it for very specific purposes, but it never stores that data.

The company may have given up some opportunities to monetise its customer data, but Nye feels that the company gains even more by being a responsible corporate citizen and establishing a reputation for privacy. She discussed how a company’s brand is affected by its privacy policies, and how organisations can better align their privacy policies with their business strategy.

Jules Polonetsky, CEO of the Future of Privacy Forum—a think tank and advocacy group focused on data privacy issues—explained that companies need to understand what customer data they have, where it is located, what rules apply to it and who has access to it.

Then they need to develop privacy standards that align with their business goals and customer expectations. Polonetsky helped draw a distinction between security and privacy.

“Security is about making sure the people who aren’t authorised to have data don’t get it. Privacy is about the people who are authorised to have the information…and what you do with it once you are allowed to have it.”

What can you do to stay secure and ensure privacy? Microsoft has developed the Secure Productive Enterprise, an offering that brings together the latest, most advanced technologies for security as well as management, collaboration and analytics. 

Article by the Microsoft Office 365 team

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