Fox Rothschild LLP

How To Rein In The Riches Of Big Data

CMO.com

February 15, 2012

Scott Vernick discussed the privacy-policy implications that big data has on companies and offered solutions to CMOs seeking to adapt their policies accordingly.

According to a survey of CMOs by IBM, less than one-third of the CMOs surveyed said they consider it necessary to alter their policies despite the numerous ways in which customers’ privacy can now be compromised.

“I never cease to be amazed at how many businesses don’t know what their organizations are doing when it comes to cybersecurity and data protection,” Vernick said. “In fact, many don’t know what is in their privacy policy in the first place.”

In terms of what businesses and brands should do as the “tsunami of data” hits them, Vernick recommends each company start with the basics. “The first question a company needs to ask itself is, ‘What does our privacy policy say?’ he said.

From there it’s just more of the same kinds of basic, logical questions, according to Vernick, such as whether policies are written in such a way that an average consumer can understand it, and whether the companies are actually adhering to them and being up-front with people as to how they plan on using the data.

“It seems obvious, but companies still get into trouble because they’re not forthright and candid about what they’re doing with the information in the privacy policy itself,” Vernick adds.

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