Why leveraging privacy-enhancing technology enhances consumer privacy and data protection

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Businesses in a variety of industries are using location data — and the insights it derives from it — to solve different business challenges. These include reaching the right audience with advertising, deciding where to open a new traditional location, understanding where barriers exist in their supply chain, etc.

However, despite the many benefits that insights from location data provide, for the average person, the consumer data security remains the primary concern. This often leaves businesses struggling to strike a good balance between using data to uncover meaningful insights while ensuring consumer privacy.

More and more businesses are taking advantage of location data

Location data is a powerful component of an enterprise’s strategic capabilities, such as customer personalization, acquisition, insights, and retention. And, this information is being used by more companies in more ways than ever before.

A ride-hailing company that navigates to customer pick-up and drop-off locations, a web app that offers local dining options, or a mobile app that allows consumers to view news or soccer scores rock — all of these are leveraging location data. The trends and insights gleaned from this data can also help companies make key decisions, develop strategies, and improve their business overall.


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However, by capturing the consumer’s location data, companies will immediately be responsible for handling it appropriately, regardless of how it is collected or whether it is shared outside of the organization. Additionally (whether they know it or not), companies with apps that collect location data are likely to own data generated at sensitive locations such as medical centers, places of worship, military bases, etc. military or school. This data could be accidentally sold, used for analysis, accessed by bad actors, or exposed during a data breach — all institutional risks when dealing with precise location data.

This is why any company that captures or processes consumer location data in any capacity should use privacy-enhancing technologies to ensure that rights and protection efforts are Their consumer data privacy not only meets but exceeds consumer expectations. While fully understanding the importance of consumer privacy and accessing the types of tools needed to protect data can be a daunting learning curve, there are ways the tech industry positioning can help.

Solve the learning problem by democratizing access to privacy-enhancing technologies

Previously, proprietary privacy-enhancing technologies were developed by location technology companies and used internally. However, I firmly believe that for organizations of all types to truly reach the consumer level data security People want and expect, the privacy-enhancing technologies created by location technology companies must be made available to all companies that can benefit from these advancements.

New efforts to democratize access to privacy-enhancing technologies are helping organizations ensure that location data generated by mobile devices in sensitive locations is not used, shared, or shared. share or resell. These tools add industry-leading privacy controls to the company’s own systems and work with any type of location data, no matter how it was generated. This helps ensure that a company is meeting consumer privacy and data protection requirements.

If many technology companies provide privacy-enhancing features used in their systems to others, organizations across industries can protect the data stored in their systems. them better, and in turn, consumer privacy and data protection will likely evolve and improve faster. An important starting point is the democratization of access to these technologies.

Changing location data and consumer privacy landscape

While there’s no shortage of discussions around what can happen if someone’s sensitive data falls into the wrong hands, there’s still a lack of awareness about what losing location data can cause. for businesses and society at large, if the world no longer has access to that data. . Location data can help with business challenges, but it can also help with challenges we as a society face, such as understanding how viruses spread. community or identify evacuation routes in natural disaster areas so that those people can be reached. who need it most. However, this data still needs to be collected with privacy at the forefront.

Look forward

Location data won’t go away, but privacy protections will continue to evolve as companies face new customer requirements and legislation and as new sources of location data become available. appear as self-driving cars and new smart devices. Consumer privacy is now every company’s responsibility, and that’s why every company that processes consumer data needs to use privacy-enhancing technologies to secure it. of consumers is protected.

Jeff White is the founder and CEO of Analysis of gravy.

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