AdExchanger: Life’s A Breach: The Coming ‘Arab Spring’ Of Consumer Privacy

Posted on Jan 2, 2015 in Quoted by Press |


consumer privacy

AdExchanger: Life’s A Breach: The Coming ‘Arab Spring’ Of Consumer Privacy

Target. eBay. The Home Depot. Neiman Marcus. Michaels Stores. Sony Pictures Entertainment. Even Chick-fil-A.Data breaches, hacks and questionable cybersecurity became par for the course in 2014, removing the illusion that companies can easily protect themselves or their customers.

According to Pew Research, 91% of consumers aren’t comfortable about how companies collect and use their personal data, and roughly 80% of those surveyed expressed concerns about government access to their data.

Suni Munshani, CEO of enterprise data security company Protegrity, said the sentiments expressed in the Pew research will only become more prevalent as time goes on – and consumers are going to start making demands.

“If a marketer uses a person’s data, that person needs to get something out of it, too,” Munshani said. “Consumers will want to see value in the data-sharing value exchange, something more than just access to goods and services. Consumers will also want to restrict how marketers use their data, deeming some aspects OK to use, but not others. Data is not a one-way street for advertisers.”

But awareness is the first step, he said. For the moment, Pew found that 55% of people are more than willing to share their personal data in return for free stuff online.

“Consumers are going to start being more aware of how their information is being abused, whether it’s through a Trojan horse inside your house – a little thing called Nest – or more blatantly,” Munshani said. “The Nest, for example, has the ability to track every time you walk from the living room to the dining room to the bedroom, how many people are in the house at any given time, whether you have any animals in the house, what time you come home every day. Nest gathers all of that information and Google has access to it.”

And when a breach does happen, a “We’re sorry” gift card isn’t going to cut it anymore.

Protegrity works with large brands across retail, banking, health care, insurance and travel, as well as several federal and state government agencies. Clients include online social charity and donation platform JustGiving and nutrition and weight-loss marketing company Herbalife. Protegrity also maintains technology partnerships with the likes of Teradata, Cloudera, Hortonworks and IBM.

Munshani shared his views with AdExchanger.

AdExchanger: What does Protegrity do, in a nutshell?

SUNI MUNSHANI: We’re an enterprise data security company. Our approach is to help companies reduce the surface area of the data itself. At most companies, some of the data is made available in their system, but we tokenize the data so that it’s simply not there. There’s nothing to hack.

A firewall is not going to protect you from a disgruntled employee inside the company or a careless employee who might have their username or password written down on a scrap of paper on the inside of their iPad cover.

That’s why we manage the velocity of the data and the character of the data. If it’s out of place or accessed out of turn, we see that and it triggers certain actions. The data itself is also protected.

How is your solution different from what else is out there?

Others focus on access control, authorization and other forms of monitoring of use. We fundamentally secure the data itself.

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