Data and Trust

This article is written by Milambo Kabeleka, a Contributor Author at Startup Turkey.

Alex Salkever, a writer, futurist, technology leader and the Co-author of “The Driver in the Driverless Car, a book about the power that new technology has to induce change in the world for the better, on condition that we make the right decisions about them.

His interaction with technology got him to think of how technology can be dangerous when used the wrong way and how it has a positive effect on development when used correctly. There have been positive effects of technology on society, from saving lives with improved medical technology to better ways of communicating.  

All this change has been made possible because of the information that is collected and processed, otherwise known as data. It is undeniable that data is at the heart of everything. Everyone may say that their primary goal is to get users, but their true goal is to get data that will help them attract more users.

His talk at the Startup Istanbul event on Data and Trust was inspired by His children whose pictures where being tagged on Facebook and with a simple application of facial recognition, their identity would be compromised. They were losing their data simply because they were being tagged.  How often does this happen to us? Chances are, you will get not less than 10 tags after taking a group photo with your buddies over the weekend. This means your data has been shared without your permission.

It is important for startups to be aware of the dangers of dealing with data. Establishing trust with your users is essential. Clients have to trust you to use your platform. The loss of trust is very expensive to any business. This has been very evident in the case of Facebook which has lost $80 billion in market value since its data scandal. This is very common among startups. Any leak in data could mean a decline in users, which also means a huge loss in revenue.

It is important to understand the link between data and trust. How you handle your data is more important that the million users you want to acquire. Data is like oxygen. It is essential for growth, but it can also burn down the house if used the wrong way.

When collecting data, these are some of the questions that can help you collect only the relevant data:

  • How do you request data from customers?
  • Who is the data from?
  • How much data do you collect?
  •  What kind of data do you collect?
  •  How long do you keep data?
  • How Secure is the data?
  • Where/How do you store it?
  • How to disclose problems like data theft?

Startups are the next generation; they are setting the tone of the future. The way we choose to handle data now, will have a huge impact on the future. Startups in tech, need to stop taking data and trust for granted, start making more secure decisions on how to collect, store and use data.

29 May 2019