New Business

Nicola Björk

United Kingdom

+44 7432 209 464

Knightsbridge, London, SW1X 7JF


+61 406 231 506

Lavender Bay, Sydney, NSW, 2060


+91 8626 879465

Sector 74, Mohali, Punjab, 140308

News & views

Privacy – Pacing Privacy Policies With Rapid Digital Transformation

August 25, 2020

The coronavirus pandemic has accelerated the pace of digital transformations across all industries. We have witnessed more digital transformations in the first half of 2020 than we have experienced in the last two decades. The majority of industries have adopted digital technologies to automate manual processes, and simplify internal business processes to create efficiency and reduce costs. Services such as contactless payments, contactless shopping and delivery, and chatbots for customer service, have become commonplace across all domains. With digital transformation come security and privacy issues. As the migration to digital infrastructure continues to proliferate, the management of personal data and digital footprint has big implications for business growth and public perception.

It has never been more important for businesses to assess their digital initiatives, and provide near-term help to all stakeholders while achieving long-term goals. The focus of this digital transformation is rooted in four technologies; cloud, IoT, mobile, and AI. The rapid proliferation of new technologies, especially without proper data processing infrastructure, dramatically increases the number of surface cyberattacks and new entryways into the organization’s network. For example, the massive increase in the volume of Zoom video calls from 10 million to 200 million per day in four months has exposed the company to cyber-attacks by hackers, who flooded private meetings with offensive content. Cosmetic fixes such as enforced passwords are not enough to protect user data and privacy. The lack of end-to-end encryption has made the services of the company unsuitable for business and politically sensitive meetings. Infrastructure scaling must have robust security to combat a greater threat. The process of scaling up must be agile so that it enables high performance during peak demand while ensuring the security of the network.

Regulations from GDPR and California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) have implemented legislation that requires businesses to map their data flows, assess the risks in their data processing activities, and identify where controls must be implemented. The fine for non-compliance stands at 4% of annual turnover. Growing concerns over privacy have mandated stricter restrictions and oversight on tech and data companies. The security pitfalls of digital transformation can be avoided if organizations make security a priority from the beginning.

Here are some initiatives that businesses can implement to mitigate the risk of data breaches:

Monitoring the usage of consumer data by your vendors and partners
The economic downturn has led to the exploitation of big data by businesses, in a bid to offer personalized services to their customers and ensure business sustainability. Under CCPA and GDPR, all businesses are financially liable for the mishandling of consumer data by third parties. As such, Data Processing Agreements(DPA) are extremely important to ensure that all parties are compliant with privacy policies. An ironclad DPA, under state regulations, would ensure businesses are financially protected from misdemeanors by vendors and partners, as well as prevent unlawful use of consumer data by subcontractors.

Performing impact assessment to monitor risk
Under GDPR, Data Processing Impact Assessment (DPIA) is mandatory for processing all data that risks the rights and freedoms of data subjects. Data, such as biometric data, genetic data, data matching, tracking, and large-scale profiling, all come under GDPR’s extensive list of high-risk data. Businesses are required to verify their legitimate interests, the intended outcome for the subject, and the expected benefits of the subject’s data to the company, before being able to utilize consumer data. Such risk assessments force companies to handle private data with greater caution, prevent privacy violations, and prevent being charged heavily by regulatory bodies. Impact assessments also ensure a paper trail of steps taken by businesses when dealing with consumer data. This allows regulators to monitor adherence to policies and prevent negligence by corporations.

Ensuring clarity on privacy policies
It’s imperative for businesses to ensure that their privacy policies are in accordance with the regulator’s policies. It’s also vital that these policies are accessible to customers, not just stakeholders and partners. With growing privacy concerns among the masses, creating transparency will help companies build long-term relationships with their customers. Consumers have a right to know how their digital footprint is being used by businesses. The clarity in privacy policies will help customers make the right choices and for businesses, this will translate to greater loyalty from their customers.

Final Thoughts

While digital transformations are happening at the speed of light, there is much for companies to do to ensure that privacy is not compromised in exchange for innovation. In an unpredictable economic climate, where companies are trying to survive a pandemic, an additional fine for non-compliance by regulators could mean disaster. At Alkye, we help our clients with monthly data privacy maintenance packages that help them maintain the security and privacy policies of their websites and apps.

AIBusiness GrowthBusiness modelcovid-19Data privacyDigital transformationIoTMachine LearningPersonal DataPrivacy paradox
Nicola Bond

Words by
Nicola Bond

More News
Share This Article