Businesses need to consult customers to work out what is reasonable when it comes to using and securing their data.

Business Briefing: Trusting business to take care of your data

Business Briefing: Trusting business to take care of your data. The Conversation14.7 MB (download)

Former ACCC chief Graeme Samuel is calling on businesses to take a closer look at their data management practices in a bid to increase public trust in their ability to handle it. Samuel says if they don’t take the lead on data use, companies risk more government regulation, with the potential for overreach.

He is the new head of a not-for-profit industry body, Data Governance Australia, that wants to produce a code of conduct for how businesses handle data. The aim is to improve internal auditing and compliance with regulation on data use.

High-profile cases of businesses handling data incorrectly damage public trust in businesses, says Samuel, as consumers start to worry if it’s a systemic problem. It also means governments introduce regulations as a result that inhibit the ability of business to innovate.

Part of handling data correctly is being aware of community expectations when it comes to managing their data, says Samuel. But it’s also the responsibility of industry to educate the public about what is unreasonable and will inhibit business.