The Buzz about BI, Big Data and the FTC

January 13, 2016

The 2016 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) concluded recently in Las Vegas. The annual international, event which attracts major technology companies and industry professionals, provides opportunities to showcase the latest trends in technology for hardware and software.

 

Beyond the new gadgets and software, there were two keynote sessions  which brought government and technology sector leaders together for a discussion of how to manage the fierceness of change in technology and the need for constant collaboration.

Both the FTC and FCC have eyes on enforcing privacy policies which exists to protect consumers. Back in September, 2014, the FTC outlined for companies the benefits and issues around the use of big data, specifically in how consumers are categorized  and who gains the most when data is stored. There were 3 key takeaways from that meeting (seen here in the transcript) that are important:

  1. First, as a law enforcement agency, the FTC will work to identify areas where big data practices violate the laws currently on the books that we enforce, including the FTC Act, the Fair Credit Reporting Act, and the Equal Credit Opportunity Act, and will bring enforcement actions where appropriate;

  2. Second, we will continue our efforts to examine and raise awareness about the consumer protection and concerns surrounding big data through speeches, consumer and business education, which we certainly need to do more of, and potentially follow-up events or a report on this workshop. 

  3. And third, we will encourage businesses to design their analytical systems with an eye to the concerns that we’ve discussed here, avoiding bias or  disparate adverse impact on particular populations of consumers.

It is my belief that the strategy  and themes from this 2014 meeting are alive and that FTC Chairwoman Ramirez remains vigilant about auditing the process and progress around "big data" collection. In this most recent post from Katherine Noyes, Chairwoman Ramirez reiterated the 2014 meeting outcome and that "Businesses must ensure that their big data use does not lead to harmful exclusion or discrimination".

 

Another example of why "big data" collectors and business alike should be prudent about capturing and reporting from data analytics, is the probability of the FTC or FCC will come knocking on your door. There are "7 reasons the FTC could audit your privacy program"  as noted in this post from Jay Cline back in 2012. You can see there are hefty fines for not having or following privacy policies or not attempting to get consumers' consent.

It is important to know and guarantee that whatever tools are used to collect and report on your customer data, both the business or "caretaker" of  information are accountable for the methods and procedures used and should follow government policies.

 

Another example of why "big data" collectors and business alike should be prudent about capturing and reporting from data analytics, is the probability of the FTC or FCC will come knocking on your door. There are "7 reasons the FTC could audit your privacy program"  as noted in this post from Jay Cline back in 2012. You can see there are hefty fines for not having or following privacy policies or not attempting to get consumers' consent.

 

It is important to know and guarantee that whatever tools are used to collect and report on

your customer data, both the business or "caretaker" of  information are accountable for the methods and procedures used and should follow government policies.

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Contact Norm

Tel: 603-254-9064 

nbrien@concentricpartner.com

United States

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