What to know about data collection ethics

Every company is a data company, due to the huge reams of information and data collected by a vast array of systems every single day. Legislation exists to direct the way that this data is managed, but the issues around data collection often go further than the scope of the law.
This is where the growing field of data ethics comes in, and where the rise of independent data collection company businesses comes in too. A whole supporting industry is evolving to help businesses manage the very data that allows them to operate.

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The consequences of getting it wrong

Mismanage data, allow data theft to occur or wilfully misuse data and the penalties can be severe. From fines to even prison sentences for directors, a myriad of information-based crimes is recognised under law, and enforcement authorities are building up their own capability to track and prosecute them.

But even where wilful crimes are not committed in the field of data, there are serious risks associated with a breach or error. An entire company’s reputation can be destroyed by one leak or negative press story, and customers will move their business elsewhere. The reputational risk of bad data management can become as financially destructive as a court case.

What companies need to know

Most companies are heavily investing in data management best practices and seeking to deeply understand the ethical issues around how data is collected, handled and destroyed – going far beyond the evolving body of legislation. Many will outsource this specialist and sensitive function to a trusted data collection company such as https://shepper to ensure compliance and quality.

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There is growing advice and support too for businesses. For example, the government has its own published data ethics framework. A growing body of professionalism in the field means that there are now highly-trained professionals seeking in-house and outsourced data roles, with the ability to create and manage ethical systems, frameworks and teams with the necessary skills. For business owners the imperative is there, and the desire and action must happen to ensure that their business is compliant.

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