The last few decades have seen even more emphasis put on data storage, data management and data security within organizations. In addition to this, recent literature on the subject suggests that organizations that endeavour to be more progressive with the use of intra-organizational and inter-organizational data give themselves the best possible chance of driving innovation and increasing their bottom line by harnessing the value drawn from broader insights. It is through these insights that corporations not only gain a competitive edge but it also gives leadership teams the tools to make decisions more swiftly and decisively. However, with great opportunity comes great challenges, more specifically the multitude of variable data risk challenges.

One of the primary challenges for many corporations around the world is the rising cost of regulatory frameworks and compliance requirements that govern broad categories of data management and data sharing. Legal structures such as the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) and the General Data Protection Regulation commonly known as GDPR are US and EU regulatory frameworks, respectively. These two frameworks, which govern and mandate how organizations should safeguard consumer data, are always evolving and therefore require flexible and dynamic solutions to maintain compliance. In addition to this, industry specific directives further tighten the parameters within which organizations can manage and share data. Regulatory strictures now form the backdrop from which corporations operate and the rising adoption of technologies that allow governments, organizations and individuals to connect and communicate with one another. Essentially this means that continuous data compliance now needs to be baked-in to any organizations modus operandi.

It’s from these challenges that organizations now face, that an entire industry of solutions and solution providers has spawned, otherwise known as Privacy Enhancing Technologies (PET). But what are PETs exactly? The most widely accepted classification for understanding the leading privacy enhancing technologies comes from The European Union Agency for Cybersecurity (ENISA). They have defined privacy enhancing technologies as “the special type of technology tailored for supporting pseudonymous identity for data, anonymity of data and minimizing data.” This definition also suggests that PETs have been structured to support core data protection and privacy principles.


Regulatory observance challenges should be a key target for these emerging PET solutions. “The killer app for Privacy Enhancing Technology is continuous compliance.” says Shashi Gowda, CEO of US based Privacy Enhancing Technology company Devr. As the ever-increasing volume of data stored and shared by organizations on their servers and networks continues to grow the importance of compliance, and therefore the need for privacy enablement of that data, cannot be overstated.

Recent headlines concerning security breaches and data leaks within large well-known organizations have been the catalyst for even greater awareness and an increased focus put on privacy and security. This emphasis on data security has brought about the tightening of structures and procedures, especially within the context of data sharing. Even with all the security and regulatory challenges, the immediate question one may ask is - why and what entices so many organizations to stay the course and somehow attempt to navigate themselves through this minefield of challenges? According to Gowda the answer for next generation data solutions, across all industries, lies in “first establishing a solid foundation of continuous compliance.” His view is that” solutions that don’t consider regulatory observance for data sharing will eventually collapse under their weight.”. Subsequently, new Privacy Enhancing Technologies (PETs) have now become paramount to corporations, not only for addressing concerns around data leaks but also providing solutions for how these organizations share data. “Once continuous compliance can be safely introduced a wide range of cost savings and insights become immediately to a wide range of enterprises.” Gowda comments.

These PET solutions and service providers may just be the key to the next wave of innovations that comes from intra-organizational and inter-organizational data sharing .

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