Australian organisations “must move beyond” high-profile data scandals from the last 12 months that have negatively impacted consumer confidence if they are to “embrace the full value of data,” a new report has warned.
Allens’ Benefit over Backlash report urges organisations to institute “well-governed, transparent and ethical data practices” for the unlocking of “the considerable value of data” for consumers and business.
Allens’ head of technology, media and telecommunications practice Gavin Smith said organisations need to “invest time and money in building new policies that go beyond pure legal compliance to prioritise trust, transparency and control for consumers.”
“While it’s understandable that organisations would take a cautious approach to data in the current environment, it’s important that they do not stop or slow investment in data use – the benefits are too great,” he continued.
He pointed out that “many organisations have some way to go on data governance and strategy,” citing the report’s finding that “almost half of ASX 200 privacy policies have not been updated in the past two years, while approximately 70 per cent of ASX 200 boards do not have technology and data experience.”
This is problematic, Mr Smith said, “in an era in which the value of data is growing exponentially.”
“Where there is an organisation-wide lack of clarity on data use, we often see barriers to collaboration between business functions,” he continued, arguing that “consumer trust and data use are not mutually exclusive.”
For organisations entrenching new policies, they should include a robust, organisation-wide data governance framework, “endorsed at the highest levels of the organisation,” that establishes agreed principles and practices across the business, the report explained.
It also highlighted legal advisers as “uniquely placed to lead the development and implementation of this framework, working with senior leadership and across business functions to strike the right balance between risk and reward.”
“Consistency of practice and approach allows businesses to take full advantage of rapidly emerging opportunities for data exploitation,” Mr Smith noted.