A2 Academy: Privacy in the Spotlight

Privacy issues haunt us every day. We don't want anyone to invade our privacy, yet we beg to know more about other people and institutions -- our customers, our neighbors, our employees/employers, our government officials -- without overstepping legal and moral bounds.

Then there are people who know no legal and moral bounds. We worry about them.

Credit: Pixabay
Credit: Pixabay

The fact is that today's privacy concerns make up a relatively new beast. New data privacy threats pop up every day, and we are still trying to understand them. We even contribute to privacy threats by sharing our data in exchange for a virtual free lunch.

How new are privacy concerns? It wasn't all that long ago that you dealt with privacy threats by closing the blinds on your windows and being careful what you wrote on a postcard that was destined for the mail. Our affair with the computer changed all that.

Our new All Analytics Academy program, Data Privacy for You, For All, launches on November 1. It is an opportunity for you to learn more about some of the aspects of data privacy and to hear from our expert presenters about some best practices in protecting privacy.

As data and analytics professionals, you are in a unique position. You are consumers and employees in your own right with your own data to protect. Yet, you also are custodians of corporate, customer, and employee data. You have to protect that data while using it judiciously for the benefit of those same three entities, the company, the customer, and the employee.

I guess the key is in finding the right balance between any data-driven opportunity and the need for someone's privacy.

So, we broke down the plan for our five-session Academy program along the different views into privacy issues:

  • Best Practices for Protecting Customer Data, with presenter Sagi Leizerov, who is Global Privacy Leader, Advisory Services for Ernst & Young
  • Privacy and Your Employees, with presenter Tamara Dull, Director of Emerging Technologies for SAS Best Practices
  • The Infrastructure: Baked-In Privacy, with presenter Greg Reber, who is founder & CEO of AsTech Consulting
  • The Global Privacy Challenge, with Sagi Leizerov
  • The Privacy/Marketing Seesaw, with A2 blogger and founder of Zimana Analytics Pierre DeBois

In each theme question of balance pops up.

Your customers share data with you in expectation of better service or other benefits, and they trust that you won't misuse or lose that data.

You have to protect your employees' data but you also need them to help protect your corporate and customer data. Your privacy policy is only as strong as the care they take with data.

Your company wants to innovate with its data initiative but the computing and network foundation that your data strategy is based on often is cracked. You need to build privacy into that infrastructure.

You need to do business on a global scale but inconsistent, sometimes conflicting regional data regulations limit your options. International business also could expose your company to a variety of threats and regulatory penalties if you aren't careful.

Your marketing strategy is based on consumer data and behavior but your brand and even your company's existence are at risk if you get the marketing/privacy balance wrong.

Each of the five sessions will feature 30 to 45 minutes of audio presentation by our guest expert along with slides that will appear on the streaming audio page. During the audio presentation you can share your questions and comments via a text chat, and we will address your questions with the speaker when the prepared presentation concludes.

If you miss any of the sessions, they will be available on demand after that event concludes via the same link that you see on the Calendar page.

So, check out that Calendar now, and add the sessions to your own calendar. Is there someone in your organization who needs to learn more about privacy -- maybe that person who comes up with innovative but risky ideas in meetings? Share a link or two with them. We look forward to providing an informative and entertaining Academy series over the first two weeks of November.

James M. Connolly, Editor of All Analytics

Jim Connolly is a versatile and experienced technology journalist who has reported on IT trends for more than two decades. As editor of All Analytics he writes about the move to big data analytics and data-driven decision making. Over the years he has covered enterprise computing, the PC revolution, client/server, the evolution of the Internet, the rise of web-based business, and IT management. He has covered breaking industry news and has led teams focused on product reviews and technology trends. Throughout his tech journalism career, he has concentrated on serving the information needs of IT decision-makers in large organizations and has worked with those managers to help them learn from their peers and share their experiences in implementing leading-edge technologies through publications including Computerworld. Jim also has helped to launch a technology-focused startup, as one of the founding editors at TechTarget, and has served as editor of an established news organization focused on technology startups and the Boston-area venture capital sector at MassHighTech. A former crime reporter for the Boston Herald, he majored in journalism at Northeastern University.

Big Data Success Essentials: Tech, People, and Process

While there is an increasing focus on the role of people alongside technology in analytics initiatives, let's not forget that process -- business rules -- play an important role in big data success.

Why You Should Remember Equifax

The Equifax breach raises multiple concerns about how companies respond to hacks, but also how they handle third-party consumer data.

Re: Privacy issue
  • 10/14/2016 11:13:59 AM

I think winners and losers will be a result of this discussion. Companies like facebook and Google really depend on this type of information for revenue.

Re: Privacy issue
  • 10/14/2016 9:23:23 AM

It will surely be an interesting journey in the next few years as the issues get debated and sorted out. Getting empolyees and customers to "trust that you won't misuse or lose that data," may be a challenge after our recent spate of hacked data and emails.

Crypto security
  • 10/10/2016 8:15:44 PM

Will any of your experts address the role of encryption in securing both data in transit and at rest? This seems to be one of the most challenging (and expensive) pieces of the puzzles for organizations trying to lock it all down.

Privacy issue
  • 10/10/2016 5:53:23 PM

I think there are many parts to this. there is how data is gathered ( did you have anopt in or was it just taken), who owns it and how it is used. When hackers go into political sites and try to influenec an election there is one set of issues. But what happens when a merketer access your microphone or camera in your computer or phone? When the director of the FBI recommends you put a piece of tape over your comera when not in use, you can bet it is a real issue. Can Google look for key words inyoru e-mail and then sell the data to companies who want to sell you things? I think ther will be many changes in this field before we hit on the right balance of privacy and data for the common good.