The rising demands of working from home during the pandemic means more time online for professional meetings and other work-related tasks. With all this virtual activity comes concern over data privacy. We examine such concerns and how to mitigate the risks. Expert opinion is offered by Dr. Reid Blackman, CEO of Virtue, a digital ethical risk consultancy.
Script: THE RISING DEMANDS OF WORKING FROM HOME DURING THE PANDEMIC MEANS MORE TIME ONLINE FOR PROFESSIONAL MEETINGS AND OTHER WORK-RELATED TASKS.

AT THE SAME TIME, GOVERNMENTS AROUND THE WORLD ARE LEVERAGING THE USE OF TECHNOLOGY TO HELP TRACK AND CURTAIL THE SPREAD OF COVID-19.

WITH ALL THIS VIRTUAL ACTIVITY, COMES THE CONCERN OVER DATA PRIVACY.

[SOT: 00:31 – 00:36/REID BLACKMAN/DIGITAL ETHICAL RISK CONSULTANT]
SO IT’S NOT ABOUT PEOPLE, NOT PEOPLE BEING ABLE TO SEE YOUR DATA. IT’S ABOUT YOU HAVING CONTROL OVER WHO HAS YOUR DATA, WHO SEES IT, WHAT THEY COULD DO WITH IT, WHO THEY CAN SHARE IT WITH AND SO ON.

IN CHINA, FOR EXAMPLE, THE COUNTRY USED MASS SURVEILLANCE TOOLS FROM DRONES AND CLOSED-CIRCUIT CAMERAS TO MONITOR AND TRACK THE SPREAD OF CORONAVIRUS.

OTHER COUNTRIES ARE USING THE COMBINATION OF LOCATION DATA AND CREDIT CARD INFORMATION TO TRACK COVID-19 IN THEIR COUNTRIES.

RESEARCH TEAMS IN EUROPE AND THE US ARE NOW ALSO SUGGESTING WAYS TO USE SUCH DIGITAL INFORMATION.

WITH NO SET GLOBAL STANDARDS IN PLACE, EXPERTS WORRY ABOUT THE VIOLATION OF PEOPLE’S PRIVACY.

[SOT: 9:27 REID BLACKMAN/DIGITAL ETHICAL RISK CONSULTANT]
THE BIG ISSUE IS THAT INDUSTRY EXPERTS FOR LARGE CORPORATIONS WITH A TREMENDOUS AMOUNT OF POWER WITH VERY SMART PEOPLE WORKING FOR THEM CAN FIGURE OUT COUNTLESS WAYS OF LEVERAGING THAT DATA TO USE TO DRIVE THEIR BOTTOM LINE ALL IN WAYS THAT NEITHER I NOR YOU, NOR MOST PEOPLE THAT WE COULDN’T FORESEE.

BACK AT HOME, FEARS ABOUT THE USE OF SMART HOME DEVICES ARE ALSO RAISING QUESTIONS ABOUT PRIVACY RISK.

RECENT RESEARCH REVEALED THAT AMAZON’S ALEXA HAD ACCIDENTALLY ACTIVATED AND RECORDED CONVERSATIONS FREQUENTLY.

[SOT: 14:35 – 14:40/REID BLACKMAN/DIGITAL ETHICAL RISK CONSULTANT]
THE COST OF HAVING TO UNPLUG YOUR ALEXA OR WHATEVER YOUR DEVICES IS VERY LOW. THE RISK, IN SOME CASES, IS VERY HIGH. AND SO YOU MAY AS WELL JUST GO AHEAD AND DO IT.

AS THE DEBATE OVER DATA PRIVACY DURING A PANDEMIC LINGERS, THE PRIORITY REMAINS PUBLIC HEALTH SAFETY.

[SOT: 12:31 – 12:35/REID BLACKMAN/DIGITAL ETHICAL RISK CONSULTAN]
COLLECT THE DATA THAT YOU NEED RIGHT NOW BECAUSE WE HAVE TO SOLVE THIS PROBLEM. MILLIONS OF LIVES ARE POTENTIALLY AT STAKE. AT THE SAME TIME, WE SHOULD BE THINKING VERY CAREFULLY ABOUT RULES AND RESTRICTIONS ABOUT HOW TO COLLECT THE DATA.

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