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Mastercard establishes principles for data responsibility

New initiative proposed after survey shows significant mistrust of companies in the handling of personal data

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The digital economy is testing ethics on a daily basis, said Mastercard
The digital economy is testing ethics on a daily basis, said Mastercard

Matercard has launched the Data Responsibility Imperative that seeks to establish a core set of principles guiding the ethical collection, management and use of data.

 

It follows the results of a survey which revealed that nine out of ten people said that data privacy was important to them, but only a quarter believed that companies were doing a good job of handling individuals’ data.

 

Six responsibilities

 

This new initiative is based on the premise that businesses have a responsibility to individuals, one another and society as a whole in how they manage their data. It proposes six data responsibilities that will help deliver sustainable data programmes designed to best navigate the challenges and opportunities of the digital economy. These principles are meant to complement – and not substitute – regulatory compliance.

 

The responsibilities are as follows:

  • Security and privacy: companies must uphold best-in-class security and privacy practices;
  • Transparency and control: companies should clearly and simply explain how they collect, use, and share individuals’ data and give individuals the ability to control its use;
  • Accountability: companies must keep consumer interests at the centre of their data practices
  • Integrity: companies must be deliberate in how they use data in order to minimise biases, inaccuracies, and unintended consequences;
  • Innovation: companies should be constantly innovating to ensure individuals benefit from the use of their data through better experiences, products and services;
  • Social impact: companies should use data to identify needs and opportunities to make a positive impact on society.

“In today’s fast-paced digital economy, we’re facing never-before-seen circumstances that test our ethics on a daily basis,” JoAnn Stonier, chief data officer, Mastercard. “We need high data standards that allow us to face these situations head-on, knowing that our practices are sound, consistent and based on treating individuals and their data with decency.

 

“For Mastercard, this commitment starts at home, and we’re embedding these principles into how we do business – every day.”

“In today’s fast-paced digital economy, we’re facing never-before-seen circumstances that test our ethics on a daily basis”

According to Mastercard’s research, an organisation committing to these principles would help drive trust upwards of 90 per cent of individuals. Consumers in India and Brazil were far more positive about the handling of personal data, and more than 50 per cent of consumers said they would be more likely to use a company that was transparent about data use.

 

“Mastercard’s Data Responsibility Imperative is a good model for companies that want to use data while honouring individual privacy rights,” said Jules Polonetsky, CEO of the Future of Privacy Forum.

 

“Data is more than just a valuable business asset; principled, moral data practices are a corporate responsibility. In the long run, companies that build trust through principled uses of data – even when there is a short-term cost – will be best suited to thrive in a data-driven economy.”

 

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