Digital Ethics: One of Gartner’s top trends of 2019

by Aisling Moriarty November 29, 2018
Digital Ethics: one of Garter´s top trends of 2019

Digital ethics is one of the most important building blocks in business today, with Gartner research firm, naming it as one of the top ten technological trends of 2019 and as a fundamental part of the ContinuousNEXT. This, alongside legislations such as MIFID II and GDPR coming into effect, is changing company ecosystems. Companies in the financial sector have to adopt new technology for the obligatory recording of the mobile and landline calls, emails and text messages (SMS) etc., in order to keep a record of any interactions between employees and potential and current clients. MIFID II requires the secure and professional safekeeping of this information for a period of 5 years.

What is digital ethics?

Digital ethics is quite simply put the social code of the internet. Technology is growing at an exponential rate and legislation is only beginning to catch up, but at a rate that’s nowhere near fast enough. People are becoming more concerned about online privacy and what personal data is being collected, by who, why and if it’s well protected. How can we combat this issue and protect personal data etc.? The first steps have been taken by the EU with legislation like MIFID and GDPR, the second needs to be taken by the companies themselves, by ensure that the adhere to guidelines and keep a proper record of data collected. Digital ethics is a grey area and joint enforcement and cooperation is needed by government institutions, companies and individuals.

Why is digital ethics important?

It´s vital to get on board and implement changes related to digital ethics. It´s very likely that there could be rewards or incentives for those who comply and go above and beyond to protect clients’ data such as tax breaks, government funding etc. While of course those who don’t will be fined $20 million or 4% of annual turnover from the previous year. There have already been numerous six figure fines to large companies like Facebook, Uber and with Facebook also facing a fine of 1.6 billion for its latest data breach.

Don’t get left behind. Dynamism is key.

An organization that embraces change and adopts technology in a new way, demonstrates its strength and capabilities. Technology changes every day and it’s vital that you embrace these, or risk falling behind the competition. The inability to adapt or embrace change will be the downfall of many companies. It´s important to put strategies into place to handle breaches and audits etc. The steps taken when breach discovered and how the company communicates with data protection authorities and users in these instances will greatly effect fines and repercussions.

Culture what you say, what you do, what you believe

Rapid changes are happening in business and technology. Changing the culture is fundamental and is needed to facilitate the ContinuousNEXT. Companies need to focus on building a corporate culture that encourages employees to welcome the idea of continuous improvement of change. If a company is unwilling to make changes and embrace new technology, there is a strong likelihood of failure. Changing culture doesn’t need to be difficult, and companies need to strive to make these changes. 46% of CIO´s say that culture is one of the biggest barriers to digital transformation.

Prepare to be unprepared. 

Recognize that this is new with no mapped rules set in stone. You need to be prepared to be unprepared and not have all the answers. Businesses in conventional markets have clear laws and a well-known ethical framework that’s clear and stable, the same can´t be said in terms of data.

Challenges in maintaining digital ethics

Cyber security skills shortage

The financial sector is the worst in terms of data security. A recent Mediapro survey in the USA found 85% of employees who work in the financial sector, where data breaches can be particularly damaging, fail at basic security tasks such as recognizing personal data and are unable to tell the difference between a phishing scam and a legitimate email. The majority of employees don’t alert IT or security staff when they do see a problem. This is a very worrying trend and highlights the need for these regulations and why companies need to record calls, emails and SMS, using software such as Recordia.

What can you do?

These new regulations require full data traceability and compliance from companies. However, this is not the only reason why companies are recording their calls and office interactions. It´s a way to improve customer experience, resolve disputes from miscommunications, avoid misinterpretation of information, analyze the evolution of your customer service, and perform quality control. Some companies are beginning to develop their own, while others rely on third party applications like Recordia, a cloud- based call recording platform that provides full audit and logging features to provide transparency on when, how, and by whom the data was accessed, and what was done to it.

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