Employers are liable to protect the privacy of their employees, whether it is related to their personal information or using online networks for work purposes. Usually, the prime concern of employers is to know how to protect employee privacy at work.
It is impossible to completely secure the employees` privacy, especially when using the internet to connect with clients and vendors. But you can take some necessary measures to protect them at the maximum level. Though some loopholes may be left, you should at least have a system to identify and deter unrestricted access to your employee data and information.
In this article, you will find the best ways to protect employee privacy at work.
Why Do Employees Need Privacy Protection at Workplace?
Every company collects the personal data of its employees, like their home address, phone numbers, family details, medical history, etc. This information is in addition to the academic qualification and the employees’ work history and is more vulnerable and sensitive. According to privacy protection laws, companies and employers are responsible for protecting all collected personal and sensitive data of their employees. And can be sued in case of mishandling this information.
Moreover, often employees use the internet for work purposes. Their devices and personal data are at risk due to malware and phishing activities. They need the protection of their personal information and must have secured options.
The need for the privacy of employees has turned multifold with the work-from-home working scenario. In addition, there is a significant increase in the hiring of a remote and virtual workforce, especially after COVID. And this calls for an increased need for the protection of the privacy of employees.
How to Protect Employee Privacy at Work?
Here are some ways through which employers can protect the privacy of their employees at the workplace:
- Restricted Access to Employees Personal Data
Keeping a record of employees` personal data is crucial for companies due to different reasons. They are liable to protect this data by all measures. And for this reason, only restricted people must have access to the employees` information. It is essential to ensure that the data is safe and will not be used for unauthorized purposes. It is illegal to use the data of the employees for any personal or commercial use without the permission of the employees.
Apart from personal data in the company’s record, some other data of the employees are also at risk while they are at the workplace. Their data may be stolen directly from their devices through malware and phishing activities. Here again, the employer is liable to provide protected devices to its employees. Each device used at the workplace must be equipped with a firewall and updated antivirus and antimalware software.
This implies to all devices used by the employees for work purposes. Whether they are owned by the company or belong to the employees. Protected devices are not essential for securing the data of the employees only. They are also crucial for the protection of the database of the company.
It is recommended to opt for secured access to the database of the company for privacy protection. The company must assign a workplace identity to each employee that makes them anonymous on the network. The employees have to access the system with the company’s username. This would help in protecting their identity and data.
Using two-factor authentications is also a good idea for protecting the privacy of the employees. For example, this ensures that no one gets access to an employee’s workspace without his permission.
Virtual Private Network (VPN) is a proven way of securing your network. It encrypts all the incoming and outgoing information to the system, making it impossible to access by anyone. It is essential for protecting the personal data of the employees and keeps them secure.
Moreover, VPN also disguises the identity and location of the users by allowing them to connect from an anonymous id and remote portal. Therefore, VPN is particularly essential for all the remote employees accessing the company’s system from different locations.
All enterprises and companies, regardless of their size, need to have their secured private Wi-Fi. It is crucial for the protection of all personal and organizational data.
Unprotected and easily exposed Wi-Fi is an open invitation to all cybercriminals to attack the database and access sensitive information. Therefore companies must opt for their secured private Wi-Fi. This secures the data of their employees and helps monitor all tasks carried out via the internet. It also decreases the attacks on the system through malware and phishing activities.
Employees at the workplace must be allowed limited access to the internet. This is for their protection as well as for the protection of the company. For example, many websites install cookies and get access to the system without asking for consent. Similarly, some websites collect your location and other system information for commercial use. Access to all such sites must be prohibited through a workplace network.
Moreover, social media sites are a great way to leak personal information. They are also time killers and keep employees busy in unproductive activities during working hours. Therefore employees must be allowed limited usage of the internet at the workplace.
Every employer is liable for the protection of its employee privacy. For that, he must make sure to collect only the required information. And protects it with restricted access. In addition, he should provide secured devices and networks to his employees to ensure their privacy.
Image Credit: provided by author; pexels; thank you!
Fintech Kennek raises $12.5M seed round to digitize lending
London-based fintech startup Kennek has raised $12.5 million in seed funding to expand its lending operating system.
According to an Oct. 10 tech.eu report, the round was led by HV Capital and included participation from Dutch Founders Fund, AlbionVC, FFVC, Plug & Play Ventures, and Syndicate One. Kennek offers software-as-a-service tools to help non-bank lenders streamline their operations using open banking, open finance, and payments.
The platform aims to automate time-consuming manual tasks and consolidate fragmented data to simplify lending. Xavier De Pauw, founder of Kennek said:
“Until kennek, lenders had to devote countless hours to menial operational tasks and deal with jumbled and hard-coded data – which makes every other part of lending a headache. As former lenders ourselves, we lived and breathed these frustrations, and built kennek to make them a thing of the past.”
The company said the latest funding round was oversubscribed and closed quickly despite the challenging fundraising environment. The new capital will be used to expand Kennek’s engineering team and strengthen its market position in the UK while exploring expansion into other European markets. Barbod Namini, Partner at lead investor HV Capital, commented on the investment:
“Kennek has developed an ambitious and genuinely unique proposition which we think can be the foundation of the entire alternative lending space. […] It is a complicated market and a solution that brings together all information and stakeholders onto a single platform is highly compelling for both lenders & the ecosystem as a whole.”
The fintech lending space has grown rapidly in recent years, but many lenders still rely on legacy systems and manual processes that limit efficiency and scalability. Kennek aims to leverage open banking and data integration to provide lenders with a more streamlined, automated lending experience.
The seed funding will allow the London-based startup to continue developing its platform and expanding its team to meet demand from non-bank lenders looking to digitize operations. Kennek’s focus on the UK and Europe also comes amid rising adoption of open banking and open finance in the regions.
Featured Image Credit: Photo from Kennek.io; Thank you!
Fortune 500’s race for generative AI breakthroughs
As excitement around generative AI grows, Fortune 500 companies, including Goldman Sachs, are carefully examining the possible applications of this technology. A recent survey of U.S. executives indicated that 60% believe generative AI will substantially impact their businesses in the long term. However, they anticipate a one to two-year timeframe before implementing their initial solutions. This optimism stems from the potential of generative AI to revolutionize various aspects of businesses, from enhancing customer experiences to optimizing internal processes. In the short term, companies will likely focus on pilot projects and experimentation, gradually integrating generative AI into their operations as they witness its positive influence on efficiency and profitability.
Goldman Sachs’ Cautious Approach to Implementing Generative AI
In a recent interview, Goldman Sachs CIO Marco Argenti revealed that the firm has not yet implemented any generative AI use cases. Instead, the company focuses on experimentation and setting high standards before adopting the technology. Argenti recognized the desire for outcomes in areas like developer and operational efficiency but emphasized ensuring precision before putting experimental AI use cases into production.
According to Argenti, striking the right balance between driving innovation and maintaining accuracy is crucial for successfully integrating generative AI within the firm. Goldman Sachs intends to continue exploring this emerging technology’s potential benefits and applications while diligently assessing risks to ensure it meets the company’s stringent quality standards.
One possible application for Goldman Sachs is in software development, where the company has observed a 20-40% productivity increase during its trials. The goal is for 1,000 developers to utilize generative AI tools by year’s end. However, Argenti emphasized that a well-defined expectation of return on investment is necessary before fully integrating generative AI into production.
To achieve this, the company plans to implement a systematic and strategic approach to adopting generative AI, ensuring that it complements and enhances the skills of its developers. Additionally, Goldman Sachs intends to evaluate the long-term impact of generative AI on their software development processes and the overall quality of the applications being developed.
Goldman Sachs’ approach to AI implementation goes beyond merely executing models. The firm has created a platform encompassing technical, legal, and compliance assessments to filter out improper content and keep track of all interactions. This comprehensive system ensures seamless integration of artificial intelligence in operations while adhering to regulatory standards and maintaining client confidentiality. Moreover, the platform continuously improves and adapts its algorithms, allowing Goldman Sachs to stay at the forefront of technology and offer its clients the most efficient and secure services.
Featured Image Credit: Photo by Google DeepMind; Pexels; Thank you!
UK seizes web3 opportunity simplifying crypto regulations
As Web3 companies increasingly consider leaving the United States due to regulatory ambiguity, the United Kingdom must simplify its cryptocurrency regulations to attract these businesses. The conservative think tank Policy Exchange recently released a report detailing ten suggestions for improving Web3 regulation in the country. Among the recommendations are reducing liability for token holders in decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs) and encouraging the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to adopt alternative Know Your Customer (KYC) methodologies, such as digital identities and blockchain analytics tools. These suggestions aim to position the UK as a hub for Web3 innovation and attract blockchain-based businesses looking for a more conducive regulatory environment.
Streamlining Cryptocurrency Regulations for Innovation
To make it easier for emerging Web3 companies to navigate existing legal frameworks and contribute to the UK’s digital economy growth, the government must streamline cryptocurrency regulations and adopt forward-looking approaches. By making the regulatory landscape clear and straightforward, the UK can create an environment that fosters innovation, growth, and competitiveness in the global fintech industry.
The Policy Exchange report also recommends not weakening self-hosted wallets or treating proof-of-stake (PoS) services as financial services. This approach aims to protect the fundamental principles of decentralization and user autonomy while strongly emphasizing security and regulatory compliance. By doing so, the UK can nurture an environment that encourages innovation and the continued growth of blockchain technology.
Despite recent strict measures by UK authorities, such as His Majesty’s Treasury and the FCA, toward the digital assets sector, the proposed changes in the Policy Exchange report strive to make the UK a more attractive location for Web3 enterprises. By adopting these suggestions, the UK can demonstrate its commitment to fostering innovation in the rapidly evolving blockchain and cryptocurrency industries while ensuring a robust and transparent regulatory environment.
The ongoing uncertainty surrounding cryptocurrency regulations in various countries has prompted Web3 companies to explore alternative jurisdictions with more precise legal frameworks. As the United States grapples with regulatory ambiguity, the United Kingdom can position itself as a hub for Web3 innovation by simplifying and streamlining its cryptocurrency regulations.
Featured Image Credit: Photo by Jonathan Borba; Pexels; Thank you!