Despite increasingly high-profile data breaches and other cybercrime aimed at people’s online accounts, digital identity advances don’t make the news very often. But, they could soon be the cornerstone for unlocking the benefits of data protection law compliance, blockchain technologies and many more headline-grabbing topics. In a recent webinar, Rooly Eliezerov, President and Co-Founder of Gigya joined me to explore why.
For instance, it’s no secret companies around the globe who collect data from consumers via digital channels are racing to comply with the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) before enforcement starts in May 2018.In the webinar, Rooly posited that companies that are able to demonstrate their dedication to privacy to customers will thrive in the post-GDPR landscape.
“Now, technologies are being developed so you can see if someone is reading a message or if they’re typing a response. These are all privacy features. It’s more the ability to [show users viable privacy features] than it is what data the company knows about.”
Conversely, companies that simply pay data privacy lip-service will be at risk of non-compliance and, even worse, lose customers by failing to meet their expectations.
“When you look at millennials, which I think shows you where things are going, they care a lot about privacy in much more detail than [generations before].”
Rooly offered Snapchat as an example of a data privacy success story. The company is not only built on privacy fundamentals, but it’s also a favorite of millennials.
I agreed: “What’s also revolutionary about Snapchat is that not only can you see how the data is being used, but you have control over a snippet of information. [You determine] who can see it and for how long.”
As for blockchain technology, it’s most known right now as the foundation for cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin. This isn’t the ideal forum to explain the technology in detail, but it should be noted that a core advantage of the blockchain is its function as a decentralized authentication authority. Unlike today’s authentication processes that rely on a centralized database (e.g. a server for a company, bank or government), a blockchain transaction requires authentication from every database on the blockchain network. This creates a far higher level of transaction security.
So what is hindering wider use of blockchain technologies? Rooly says a major roadblock is a “chicken-and-egg” problem.
“For blockchain technologies to succeed, they need to have widespread adoption and exposure. But no one right now wants to adopt these technologies because they’re not widely used and they have little exposure.”
In the near future, however, he anticipates that these technologies will be applied to many verification functions. All it will take, he says, is for a tech giant to go first.
“If a company like Google, for instance, were to adopt [blockchain technology], that would create the exposure it needs… It’s a matter of decision, not a matter of time. The technology is there. And the map of interest is clear.”
Along with his predictions for GDPR, data privacy and blockchain, Rooly covered:
- The potential death of the password
- The changing cybercrime landscape
- The growth of artificial intelligence’s impact on customer experience and our everyday life
The replay of this fascinating, information-packed hour can be accessed right here.
For an even deeper dive into the impact of digital identity on today’s society by reading Rooly’s book, “The Digital Identity Crisis,” coming from John Wiley and Sons this spring.
If you drive marketing, sales, services or product strategy with consumer data, or if you’re simply interested in what the future holds for digital identity, you won’t want to miss the riveting topics this book covers.
By Rashmi Vittal