Big Data, Big Promise for Small Business

By Jamie Saloom, Assistant Chief Counsel for Advocacy

Last month, I had the opportunity to attend the International Association of Privacy Professionals’ 2016 “Privacy.Security.Risk” conference in San Jose, CA. The two-day conference featured an impressive line-up of keynote speakers and panel discussions led by business and privacy policy leaders.

Data privacy and security are becoming increasingly important to consumers as new technologies and business models develop around the use of customer data.  Several high-profile personal information leaks have heightened public awareness of the risks associated with entrusting one’s personal information to third parties, including the government. That awareness is driving businesses and the government to adopt increased measures to protect consumer data while continuing to create innovative products and services. Policy makers and businesses are grappling with tough questions about the ethics of collecting and using consumer data, and how new technologies will shape our culture.

At the Office of Advocacy, we want innovative small businesses to be part of the ongoing digital revolution, and we continue to focus our attention on ensuring that public policies do not shut small businesses out. Luckily, small businesses are particularly adept at responding to customers and are developing products every day that satisfy consumers’ demand for both privacy and technological solutions.

I had a chance to meet with several small business leaders in San Jose, including the winners of the HPE-IAPP Privacy Innovation Award in the small organization category. This company, Protenus, headquartered in Baltimore, developed a data analytics platform that helps hospitals accurately identify privacy violations.

It’s always a pleasure to meet small business representatives who are truly on the cutting edge. The conference inspired me to keep learning about how we can support policies that are a win-win for small businesses and consumers.

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