Interactions 2024 - Las Vegas

Think you are in control? Think again! New Data Protection Regulations Are Here

If a stranger on the street asked me for my address and credit card details, I would be suspicious and would think about calling the police. However, multiple organizations are often collecting and saving this type of data all the time, usually without my consent. Unfair, don’t you think?

Data Protection Day (DPD), which occurs on January 2018, is dedicated to fighting this exact feeling of disempowerment, and returning my personal data back where it belongs – under my ownership.

The next couple of years will be revolutionary in terms of highlighting and guarding consumer data. With the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) being enforced in May 2018, organizations are becoming more and more aware of their responsibility to safeguard consumer data and implement the dedicated processes and tools necessary to adhere to regulators’ requirements. There is no doubt that GDPR is all about giving back the control and the ownership of the data to the consumers, but it did not come from nowhere. DPD has been the steady and avalanching advocate of consumer data protection for years.

With the aim of inspiring organizations to take action, Data Protection Day (in Europe), or Data Privacy Day (in the US), was initiated to promote the need for data privacy and to raise awareness of the importance of data protection. A European and US government backed impetus, DPD was initiated in 2007 and is now recognized in over 50 countries worldwide, celebrated annually on January 28th.

“If you are not paying for the product, you are the product”

This dedicated day is so very important to fostering awareness of what is being done with our most private information. It is not coincidental when we become targets of marketing spam, or at worst, fraud. Although, the mass amount of data available online and offline, can be hugely empowering in terms of consumer choice. Organizations are also secretly leveraging this data - our private information, while we are, for the most part unaware of the potentially devastating long term impact that this usage can have on us. Until now, we, as consumers, were mostly powerless to do anything about this; but this stands to change big time.

GDPR’s wide definition of consumer data, and strict data protection regulations on consumer ownership (for more information on the GDPR see our whitepaper here), compounds DPD’s celebration of consumer ownership of personal information, by moving the burden of responsibility for our data from the individual to the organization.

It is critical that organizations do not delay or ignore these regulatory requirements as it could have costly repercussions. Indeed, apart from a damaged reputation, organizations who do not embrace the regulation, and everything it stands for, could be faced with tremendous fines (for example, organizations who don’t adhere to GDPR faces fines of 4% of global turnover or €20 million euro!).

This of course has a major impact on all companies, big and small, who process consumer data – forcing them to prioritize privacy concerns. Organizations will need to start conducting complete data mapping exercises to know what, where, and how personal data is processed as this will pave the way to compliance. Not only that, organizations will also need to provide good reasons and explanations as to “why” they store our personal information, and to what purpose. 

Sharing Control, Not Losing Control

This necessity has left organizations around the world grappling with the issue of how to ensure compliance and still maintain solid business processes. For this reason, at NICE we have invested in a dedicated GDPR compliance solution for contact centers that enables organization to put privacy at the center of their compliance agenda – without impacting the customer experience. In order to empower organizations with the technological means to hand their customers control over their data, without losing their overview and perspective on their data governance practices. It is the only mission oriented end-to-end solution available on the market that leverages our market leading recording solution and state of the art analytics dedicated to compliance.

So a Happy Data Protection Day from us at NICE! I hope that apart from bringing attention to users of data practices, organizations take this day as an opportunity to promote activities that stimulate the technology and tools to resolve and improve privacy programs.

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