#289: Privacy, Data & GDPR Insights (Short Summary Show)

Data protection, legal compliance and respect for member’s privacy are all critical topics for loyalty marketing professionals.

Whether it’s GDPR or other global regulations, the privacy challenges we face today are escalating in to the “perfect storm”.

So how can we ensure we’re professional, prepared and protected as much as possible?

This short summary show explains the factors to consider, as well as the idea of a “Data Health Check”, a service offer by Richard DuttonManaging Director of the Elias Partnership, which can help your company prevent and defend against the costs of a data breach, should one ever occur.

Show Notes:

1) Richard Dutton

2) Elias Partnership 

3) Let’s Talk Loyalty Episode 139: Data Laws and Data and Privacy Health Checks for Loyalty Professionals

Audio Transcript

Welcome to Let’s Talk Loyalty, an Industry podcast for loyalty marketing professionals. I’m your host, Paula Thomas, and if you work in loyalty marketing, join me every week to learn the latest ideas from loyalty specialists around the world.

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Hello and welcome to episode 289 of Let’s Talk Loyalty. When I’m looking back at my conversation with Richard Dutton, Managing Director of the Elias Partnership. This firm is an independent expert, legal and business advisory practice, that helps organizations, brands, and individuals understand and manage the complexities of data regulation around the world.

As loyalty practitioners, data collection, privacy, safety, and security are a critical areas of ongoing concern. And one that’s only increasing in importance as cybercrime becomes more sophisticated and our data becomes increasingly valuable. Richard shared some of the approaches taken in key markets, for example, GDPR legislation in Europe, and he explained the transferring, hosting, or managing data in different countries, of course, brings additional complexities.

One of the key challenges he shared is the lack of certification around GDPR advisory services. So any firm can offer advice and support around compliance. Unfortunately, the information can become quickly out of date as GDPR regulations and laws evolve with ongoing cases. Given its complexity, Richard has been concerned to notice how many companies have become complacent around the issue, particularly competing for priority with other business issues such as the pandemic taking greater issue for senior management.

In some cases, C-Suite executives are simply accepting the risk of legal action given the relatively low fines, imposed for any violation, and instead choosing to see them as costs that can be simply written off as a cost of doing business. As loyalty professionals, of course, this approach would never work either practically, ethically, or commercially.

So thankfully Richard and his partners in the Elias Partnership offer a service called the Data Health Checkup. This service allows any company to avail of expert independent advice across the five key areas of risk in terms of their data compliance. Within this process, any areas of concern around compliance are fully protected by legal privilege.

Which gives companies the protection they need as they identify and address any areas of concern. Richard then shared a class action suit that he and his colleagues are working on, which I found quite remarkable as it’s focused on identifying and protecting the performance data of professional athletes.

In some countries such as the UK, the performance data of high-profile athletes, such as footballers, is being used commercially by third parties, such as betting firms. They profit from sharing the data without any compensation to the athletes themselves. This issue apparently has been effectively addressed in other countries, so it’ll certainly be fascinating to watch as these high-profile athletes join forces to protect their data from unauthorized use.

With so much change in complexity. The one thing I really learned from Richard is the importance of sourcing regular independent legal advice on every single aspect of your data policies. This means you have a legally defensible position and protection against fines, in the worst-case scenario, if a data breach did occur, I think we all know of legacy companies that didn’t survive after a data breach happened.

So I think the biggest risk is that customer trust can be lost overnight, so it’s simply critical to be positive and proactive to permanently protect it. Our biggest asset as loyalty professionals is collecting data for the benefit of our members and our business, but it has to be done in a way that is safe, transparent, and legally and morally compliant.

Certainly for me, when I ran various loyalty programs, making sure this happens was the scariest part of managing the data. So it’s very reassuring to meet experts like Richard Dutton and the Elias Partnership. They’re there to guide us and ensure our loyalty programs are fully checked and protected on an ongoing basis.

That’s it for this short summary. If you’d like to hear the full episode, it’s available on letstalkloyalty.com/139. Then tomorrow will be joined by Amanda Cromhout again from South Africa, as she shares the exciting winners and celebrates the achievements and brand excellence that were just announced at the South African Loyalty Awards.

Then on Thursday, we have another award-winning B2B loyalty program with insights and a wonderful conversation all about MyFedEx Rewards in the EMEA region. That’s it for now. Thanks again for listening to Let’s Talk Loyalty.

This show is sponsored by the Wise Marketer, the world’s most popular source of loyalty marketing news, insights, and research.

The Wise Marketer also offers loyalty marketing training through its loyalty academy, which is already certified over 245 executives in 27 countries as certified loyalty marketing professionals. For more information, check out thewisemarketer.com and loyaltyacademy.org.

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