Data Privacy Day 2024: Commentary from Keir Garrett, Cloudera


By Keir Garrett, Regional Vice President, Australia & New Zealand, Cloudera
Thursday, 25 January, 2024


Data Privacy Day 2024: Commentary from Keir Garrett, Cloudera

Data Privacy Day, observed annually on 28 January, is an international initiative that is now more significant in the wake of the data breaches skyrocketing across the country. As companies moved to adopt new technologies such as generative AI in 2023, they encountered significant challenges in terms of data protection and customer privacy — the consequences of which are dominating today’s headlines.

A recent OAIC privacy survey unveiled how Aussies’ behaviour towards privacy has changed — 60% of people do not trust organisations’ abilities to handle data, while an additional 58% are unaware of how it is used. As Australians gain a deeper understanding of how their data is managed and the inherent vulnerabilities to their privacy, the ongoing relevance of Data Privacy Day in 2024’s business landscape becomes increasingly evident.

Generative artificial intelligence (GenAI) has been the tech story of 2023 as organisations scrambled to adopt the technology in the enterprise. Chatbots, automated report generation and personalised emails are just the tip of the iceberg of how GenAI drives creativity and productivity while improving customer experience. But organisations that want to take advantage of this booming technology wave need to be careful to have data privacy front of mind when applying it to customer information.

It is worthwhile to note that AI models are only as good as the data that they are fed; therefore, the key to trusting your AI is to first trust your data. As companies look to deploy more AI and machine learning (ML) technologies across the business, there is an increasing demand for a trusted data platform to help organisations access their data across all environments. Advancements in AI/ML have even let organisations extract value from unstructured data, which makes the management, governance and control of all data critical — if you have clean, trusted data within the data platform, that is the AI model you can trust.

Organisations will become more data-driven with the continued rise of GenAI. In fact, an impressive 75% of Australian organisations are already adopting AI/ML technologies. As businesses adopt new GenAI iterations to democratise more of their data, the need to secure that data and empower the right people to access it becomes paramount. Privacy concerns are valid seeing how companies train or prompt GenAI models like ChatGPT with data.

To navigate data security and privacy risks, organisations must build their strategies and plans with data security and governance front of mind as enforcing third-party security solutions is often a complicated process. Investing in modern data platforms and tools with built-in security and governance capabilities allows companies to democratise their data in a secure and governed manner, while successfully training enterprise AI/ML models.

Image credit: iStock.com/Tero Vesalainen

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