How to manage what you can’t see

Preparing for the anonymisation of individual’s data

Our CTO, Chris Mathews considers the European Commission’s proposal to give consumers the right to be forgotten online, meaning they will have the choice to become ‘invisible’ online and erase their digital footprint. In this post we highlight the key points on how businesses can continue to manage its data should the proposal come into place.

The end of the data industry?

The proposal set forward by Viviane Reding, the EC justice commissioner would allow individuals to demand that data about them is deleted from companies’ data stores.

There will of course be some organisations that will feel the negative effect of the proposal, and in fact companies such as Google have been lobbying against the motion, arguing that it will leave gaps in its data. The changes could take up to two years to come into effect and those companies who are prepared to change will be able to deal with the changes more than those companies who do nothing.

Should the anonymisation of individuals occur, here are few ways organisations can prepare:

  • Find the value in data where the individual may benefit eg. reward schemes
  • Update your existing terms and conditions to confirm the agreement of customers to allow you to use their data
  • Show test cases to demonstrate that data can be anonymised
  • Educate your customers on the potential benefits of releasing personal information

For further information on the topic, read Chris’s Q&A interview with Tineka Smith at Computer Business Review here.