In A World Of Data, It’s A Matter Of Trust

Planet Tech gathers the leading start-ups, businesses, innovators and influencers to showcase solutions to our planet's most urgent issues

Earlier this month, I had the privilege of participating in Planet Tech as part of the Web Summit in Lisbon, Portugal. Planet Tech gathers the leading start-ups, businesses, innovators and influencers to showcase solutions to our planet’s most urgent issues – such as climate change, pollution and sustainability.

I participated in three sessions during the conference and was blown away by the insight and progressive thinking happening in all sectors across the globe. For this blog, I want to share my thoughts on the topic of data etiquette, rule adherence and building trust with customers in terms of how companies are handling and securing data in a new era of increased data privacy legislation.

During a fireside chat (video below) with Peter Reinhardt, CEO of Segment, and Ron Miller, an enterprise reporter at TechCrunch, we talked about how trust is the bedrock of any relationship and enterprises need to make sure they demonstrate that confidence in their daily operations.

Peter Reinhardt, Chris Powell and Ron Miller discuss how data is handled in the regulated landscape.

The conversation on data privacy has changed dramatically in the past year — thanks to legislation such as the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and California’s Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA). These regulations reflect what people want in terms of their data privacy, and companies have to balance this want with the pressure to centralize data while simultaneously managing diverse channels. The takeaway from this talk: I believe that companies have to look at the overall picture – maximizing tools and minimizing storage – in order to change the customer experience to build trust.  In the words of Zig Zigler: If you like someone, you’ll listen; if you trust someone, you’ll do business with them.

We weren’t the only ones talking about trust. 

In his main stage presentation, Microsoft President Brad Smith also had a few thoughts on the topic. Brad expertly talked about the steps Microsoft and its industry partners are taking to address the growing threats of cyberattacks and the need for collective action among governments, the tech industry and people all over the world.

He specifically outlined two initiatives that are changing the way companies are tackling these threats: Microsoft’s Digital Peace Now and Siemens’ Charter of Trust.

Digital Peace Now is a campaign to encourage world leaders to achieve digital peace. In 2017 alone, almost one billion people were victims of cyberattack or a digital crime. Through this effort, Microsoft is espousing a peaceful digital global society to prevent governments from endangering individuals. Read (and sign if you agree) the Digital Peace Now petition.

The Charter of Trust is a collaborative initiative between Siemens and the Munich Security Conference and other government and business partners. A key goal of the initiative is to develop and implement rules for ensuring cybersecurity throughout the world’s networked environment. The Charter calls for minimum security standards that align to state-of-the-art technology requirements. Like Microsoft, Siemens calls upon individuals to pull together to achieve a global network where key players come to consensus regarding the basic principles of a secure digital world … a world we can trust.

In terms of trust, the IT industry is taking the right steps to re-gain and secure the trust of customers who have been impacted by cyberattacks. While it may take regulations like GDPR and CCPA to get us motivated, the industry is more committed than ever to control and protect the data that travels across diverse business channels.

Next up: Thoughts on my participation the global sustainability panel where I got to talk about my SPEC experience and my new-found passion for the environment.

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