Seamus Byrne
December 13, 2018

Building confidence in data benefits

Dataconomy 2018

Building confidence in data benefits

Caity McLoughlin: Four key values to build public confidence in data usage

We must understand how to build and maintain the trust of humans in order to unlock and deliver the great social and commercial value in data, according to Caity McLoughlin, Associate Director at Optus Business and former Senior Policy Advisor to NSW Government Minister Victor Dominello.

In her speech at the InnovationAus.com Dataconomy 2018 event, Ms McLoughlin identifies four key values to building trust and confidence in the use of data with the public. Value, cost, governance and security.

First, there must be a clear and valuable value proposition from the perspective of the consumer. What are the benefits being received and how important is that to the person?

Second, it must be understood what the cost of receiving the benefit will be. In this sense cost is often a question of what someone is giving up, and they need to understand what they are giving access to or what rights they may be waiving to receive the value.

Third, there must be a clear and robust governance model to manage the distribution and control of the relevant data, and transparency of who will have access to the data and who is in control of access.

Finally, there must be a clear understanding that data will be kept secure and that there must be an avenue for recourse should data be misused or poorly handled.

The big concern for most people comes down to the first two points - benefits and costs. Benefits need to resonate and costs need to feel fair for people to want to take up any given opportunity to share their data.

“For example, we’ve seen sluggish uptake by consumers and organisations alike in the UK to take advantage of opportunities under the UK open banking reforms,” said Ms McLoughlin. “Research suggests this is down to a lack of widespread understanding of what their rights and what the benefits may be.”

Ms McLoughlin pointed to opportunities and benefits being uncovered through new data analytics tools, from AI, IoT and other forms of pervasive connectivity. Through new forms of data capture people may be convinced of benefits that can be derived from observing more subtle data points, like their behavioural patterns.

“I may tell you that after a big night out I like to eat avocado and tomato on toast for breakfast the next morning,” said Ms McLoughlin. “But my fitness app might tell me that I have a penchant for sausage and egg McMuffins.”

“This kind of insight is gold for researchers as it speaks to the irrational decision making part of the brain. The part that as humans we cannot consciously articulate ... These subconscious cues influence our decision making at a fundamental level.”

Yet this kind of data then feeds into the need for careful governance of data even more clearly, because such data seems to know us better than we know ourselves.

“The data economy is exploding and the public and private organisations that understand how to harness this for real and desirable customer value - in a secure and coordinated manner - are those who will excel.”

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