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Data ethics

What are the benefits?

Enhanced consumer trust. Faster uptake of new technologies. We examine at the positive impact of data ethics and the strategic steps that can get you there.

Consumer trust is a differentiator in the digital economy – studies show that consumers are more willing to adopt new technologies and share more data with businesses they trust.

Research by the UK Information Commissioner’s Office also shows that this becomes a virtuous circle – the more people trust businesses with their personal data, the more appealing they find their new products.

An international study in Harvard Business Review found that being transparent with customers, teaching them about data use and giving them control over their data are all key elements in building trust.

While it’s true that businesses take a huge variety of issues into account when deciding on strategy, those that build ethical principles into their data policies are likely to keep ahead of developing regulation. For example, some of the rules being introduced around AI are rooted in the human rights principles that underpin data privacy law.

A robust approach to ethics can help businesses develop clear guidelines for development and innovation, and clear messages for customers, investors, employees and other stakeholders.

The High-Level Expert Group on AI believes in an approach to AI ethics that uses fundamental rights as a stepping stone to identify abstract ethical principles and specify how concrete ethical values to be operationalised … a rights-based approach brings the additional benefit of limiting regulatory uncertainty.

Yuval Noah Harari,
author and historian