Is There Privacy in the Digital Age?

Record Linkage and Privacy in the Digital AgeOur world is being shaped by our online presence. Our various platforms connect each of us to the world and each one of those connections leaves a presence.  In the burgeoning databases of companies around the world, you will find shopping history, profiles and sensitive personal and healthcare data that require attention. As business becomes more effective and strategic in managing their data resources, concerns rise about how that information is associated and later used for marketing purposes. In the wrong hands, this data can lead to an invasion of personal privacy and release of information that is considered sensitive at best.

Healthcare presents some of the strongest concerns about privacy protection and must deal with some of the most stringent industry regulation. Financial services and government come a close second in terms of privacy protection concerns. The key for marketers is to find solutions that glean business advantage and fiscal performance, while protecting the privacy of the end-users and complying with regulations that govern their behavior.

Now, as we move forward in this era of data management, anyone who holds an online presence and uses the vast resources available are subject to privacy concerns. Business is moving forward at breakneck speed gathering and developing data on users. These initiatives cannot be ignored, lest they succumb to losing marketing advantage. With more and more of their customers owning an online presence with their brand, the more valuable the data becomes in determining behaviors that result in fiscal advantage over competitors. As with any other situation in life, the more greed becomes a driving force, the more risk they will be willing to run by associating data that should not be linked.

Incidents are becoming more prevalent, and personal data that should be closely held is becoming public. With more occurrences of privacy violations, federal and state regulators will be gaining stronger laws to protect personal privacy and punish violators that cross the line. Inherently, effective data management will become more complex and costly.

Marketers and business interests must maintain a healthy respect for the vast information contained in data stores. How they approach managing these vast goldmines require a sensitive balance between business intelligence and protecting the privacy of the end users. The importance of record linkage cannot be stressed enough, especially when it comes to managing opt-out lists and other types of suppression lists. From data cleansing and fuzzy matching to record linkage, thorough and effective use of strategic data management will be required as the industry moves forward.

This effort starts with the basics. Connect with Data Ladder to find a partner that will get you the most effective results with your data cleansing and linkage challenges. We will easily help you maintain the delicate balance of protecting privacy and gaining true strategic advantage from your data.