Data is the new currency in today’s digital economy. The overarching potential of data and its crucial role as a corporate asset cannot be emphasised enough. This is especially pertinent for service providers, for whom the advent, development and trading of ‘big data’ has revolutionized targeted delivery of goods and services. There is a clear expectation that important data be available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. This brings with it the need for a robust data privacy & protection strategy.
Data privacy is critical not only for the sectors which actively deal with data, including e-commerce companies, social networks, IT outsourcing units but could also greatly impact other businesses in sectors including hotels and hospitality, insurance, B2C sales, telecom, life sciences, etc. Additionally, even the entities which seek investment from offshore individual investors need to be mindful of the data protection norms while collecting and storing KYC and other information from such investors.
Several questions beg consideration though: who does this data belong to? Who can access it? What are the limits, if any, on the exploitation of this data? As in all things in technology, the law is playing catch up. Jurists around the world are struggling to marry traditional concepts of the law and the absurdly invasive times we find ourselves in. This position is further complicated by several governments demanding and seeking access to data from its citizens and corporates. On the other hand, what are the limits to privacy? Can data be demanded for the availing of basic services, travel or even government benefits? Does national security override all concerns of privacy?
Aided with a team that has been closely following developments in this sector, ELP’s Data Protection and Privacy team aims to guide its clients through this complex and nascent paradigm.