With incidents such as Snowden that shed light on the surveillance practices of governments and organizations, customers now fear whether or not their data is being stored and processed safely. This is where most global privacy laws, such as the GDPR, come into play, requiring organizations to capture consent from their customers before storing and processing data. Organizations that fail to abide by consent requirements risk penalties, heavy fines, and in extreme cases, class-action lawsuits.
To stay compliant and honor the consent of their customers, they need to formulate a game plan as to how they can easily collect this consent and keep track of it while giving them the option to revoke consent at any time.
What is Universal Consent Management?
Under most global privacy laws, the data subject’s consent is one of the lawful basis for processing personal data. A data subject’s consent is defined as any freely given, specific, informed, and unambiguous indication of the data subject’s wishes, by which he or she signifies agreement to the processing of his/her personal data. Today, most organizations leverage user’s consent for marketing purposes, including direct marketing and marketing via cookies and similar tracking technologies.
Universal Consent Management is a technical solution that enables organizations to collect users’ consent before processing their personal data for marketing purposes. In addition, it assists organizations in monitoring user’s consent throughout his/her online journey and facilitates revocation of the consent whenever the user wishes to withdraw consent. This ultimately enables organizations to comply with consent requirements of applicable privacy laws.
Challenges of effective universal consent management and how those challenges can be addressed?
Identifying consent collection points
In today’s online and digital media, a data subject interacts with the organization in various ways. For example, a data subject logs into an application or service, downloads a form or whitepaper, registers for a webinar, or fills an inquiry form. In all such scenarios, the organization intends to process the user’s personal data for its own use, such as sending marketing communications to the user. With the growing concern of data privacy, most global privacy laws now require organizations to obtain the user’s consent in all such interactions with the organization. Therefore, the organization needs to identify all consumer-facing touchpoints and display consent checkboxes/notices at those touchpoints.
Notice of Consent Capture
Once consent collection points have been identified, the second challenge remains to capture consent. For consent to be validly collected, the data subject must be notified about the controller’s identity, the types of data to be collected and processed, and their purposes. While businesses are building new capabilities to enable consent capture, having a solution that supports turnkey notice and choice can simplify this requirement.
Proliferation and Sharing
Websites and businesses collect and store identifiers such as IP addresses, device IDs, location data, and cookies, which are now considered personal data. This information is shared or leaked to various advertising and marketing platforms to provide value-added services. Therefore, it is essential that platforms involved in this process notify and obtain consent from their users before sharing their data. In addition, consent propagation must be supported and managed.
Associating Given Consent to a Specific User or Identity
Most businesses have personal data scattered across multiple systems with different identities for the same user, which are part of different processes and environments. Therefore, an enterprise-wide view of data and identity is essential for effective consent management.
Most businesses undertook a flurry of consent capture and re-consent efforts to meet GDPR deadlines but ended up with solutions that act as static consent and preference databases. Without the ability to link consent to identities, consent is once again scattered in silos with multiple instances of consent for the same user. This makes opt-out and consent withdrawal decisions very difficult to implement across the organization. Therefore, operationalizing consent management is a critical requirement for consent management solutions.
Consent is one of the most, if not the most, important data privacy requirements worldwide. However, fulfilling this regulation using manual methods is tedious, costly, and risky. Adopting the PrivacyOps framework can help the organization in the following ways:
- Build customized consent collection methods to gather and record consent from various locations, including websites, web forms, SaaS applications, and consent databases.
- Use pre-built consent workflow templates to sync consent statuses across 3rd party systems.
- Honor consent revocations easily from offline or non-primary channels.
- Customize the preference center based on functionality, branding, and user interaction requirements.
- Visualize consent at the visitor and organizational level using intuitive, easy-to-use dashboards.
Given the increased frequency and severity of enforcement around consent violations, it is wise to invest in automation at an early stage of the compliance process and prepare your organization for data privacy regulations worldwide – not just the existing ones but also those that are upcoming.
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!