Eye on Privacy: New Year, Old Data
I usually start the year with a look ahead at what marketers might expect from legislators and regulators, but not this year. Because like legislators and regulators, all I can see is a proliferation of data, and not just marketing data. Everyone is in the data business. Companies are either buying data or looking for ways to monetize their data assets. And they’re probably doing both.
As marketers, we’ve been in the data business for decades. We have the experience, understand the risks and are well-positioned for whatever 2015 may bring—or are we? While we wait to see how the Internet of Things might impact us or where the next data breach may lead us, are there housekeeping issues we should address?
As I think about the wealth of new data sources on the horizon, I’m reminded of all the legacy data that marketers have.
What happens when much of your data was collected before Privacy By Design or even before notice and choice became the norm? We can implement all the newest security features. We can apply appropriate rules to new data as it is collected. But what can we do about data assets from the last century?
What we can’t do is to ignore legacy data or assume there are no rules for this data. Much of it is too valuable to simply throw it away, but assuming we keep it, how do we codify the data governance that should apply to this data? What makes sense to me is to attempt to define for our legacy data all the things we know about new data we acquire.
So where do we start?
It’s important to keep track of all your data sources, even those you may not use anymore. If you still have contracts for third-party data, be sure to look for anything that might help you define expectations of use.