What is “Hyper Data Collection” and Why is More Sophisticated Data Protection Required as a Result of This?

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In the digital age, it is believed that every company is now a data company. One of the most important resources that businesses need for operations and the ability to service customers is data. New data types and new data dangers for enterprises have been produced through digital transformation and the adoption of emerging technologies. Organizations want to take advantage of the insights they may gain from this new data, but they must also take data risks into account and manage them.

Hyper data collection is the ability organizations have to access many different data types from individuals due to their ability to leverage wide-ranging access to an individual’s data through offering multiple products, services, and experiences that can be combined to create more robust profiles of individuals. “Hyper-collector” is a term coined by Brendan Walker, Senior Research Fellow at the University of Queensland, in an article from “The Conversation” called “What do TikTok, Bunnings, eBay, and Netflix have in common? They’re all hyper-collectors.”

Companies should take precautions to protect data that could contain personally identifiable information (PII) to avoid legal Data Privacy Risks and reduce the possibility of data breaches. Organizations must not only be enthusiastic about the benefits of hyper-data gathering when necessary but also put themselves in a position to lower their data risk.

The presence of technology in our households

At this point in time, a vast majority of us have technology in our homes that collect, sort, and analyze data acquired from our private lives. For example, your smart thermostat, smart vacuum cleaner, or refrigerator. These smart IoT devices generate and collect data about you and your family, providing companies with a picture of consumers that were never available. Companies that have these different services may or may not be asking for your consent, or they may be bundling your consent with different services.

A lack of transparency regarding data collection

Large corporations are making use of more information than is necessary, typically in methods that are covert or passive. In many instances, there is not a truly legitimate commercial or legal purpose that supports the practice of hyper-collection, and we often enable these devices with vague consent given to get access to the services these companies provide. Some of these bundled services don’t allow people the granularity to consent to some things and not others.

The FTC has just now signaled that they may consider the ambiguity of consent for individuals and how it is not as clear as it should be and is deceptive. There will be more and more on this topic as the FTC starts to put out memos and blog posts about the issue with hyper data collection. 

Data Security Techniques 

Businesses are ready for a new strategy that will help safeguard data. Encryption-in-use provides a solution that is both straightforward and ground-breaking, where data is encrypted at all times. Customer-controlled keys are the sole means to decode files that have been encrypted using data that is currently being used. Implementing the data-encryption technology within a business can assist in maintaining a new level of security. This technology incorporates various data security strategies, each of which can be applied to valuable data before its storage and remains active during the process.

Companies shouldn’t be forced to choose between providing personalized services and safeguarding their customers and business partners. Using encryption-in-use technology, businesses are given the freedom to innovate with their data while still maintaining the confidentiality and safety of their customer’s data.

The future of hyper data collection

There are two sides to hyper data collection. One side is that it provides us with the ability to analyze data that has never been accessible before, but on the flip side, there is a lack of transparency, which can put individuals’ personally identifiable information (PII) at risk. As computing gets more and more complex in terms of the types of data that are being collected and retained, it is vital that individuals have transparency in what they are consenting to to lower their data risk. Organizations need to know what tools are available to them for better risk management that will allow for more sophisticated data protection.

About the Authors

Arti Raman is the Founder & CEO of Titaniam. She specializes in advanced data protection techniques including high-performance encryption-in-use.

Debbie Reynolds is the Founder & CEO of Debbie Reynolds Consulting, LLC. Debbie Reynolds, “The Data Diva” is a world-renowned technologist, thought-leader, and advisor handling global Data Privacy, Cyber Data Risk, and complex cross-functional data-driven projects. Ms. Reynolds is an internationally published author, highly sought speaker, and top media presence about global Data Privacy, Data Protection, and Emerging Technology issues.

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