Federal data privacy laws have been slowly moving through congress for years and there has been real progress made recently, with a bi-lateral agreement called the American Data Privacy and Protection. But not everyone has been waiting for the law to be passed before they sound their concerns over what sort of impact it could have.
On August 5, 2019, the Information Technology & Innovation Foundation (ITIF), a US non-profit public policy think tank, published a paper titled The Costs of an Unnecessarily Stringent Federal Data Privacy Law. I think from the title we can all see what their opinion is on strict federal data privacy laws, however that does not change the research. According to the ITIF, new laws could have a major impact on the U.S. economy.
The costs they estimate are significant. In a total of eleven areas, they estimate the cost to the annual U.S. economy is over $122 billion dollars per year. Seven of those areas are:
- $340 M: Data Access
- $510 M: Data Portability
- $780 M: Data Deletion
- $2,170 M: Duplicative Enforcement
- $5,380 M: Data Infrastructure
- $32,900 M: Lower Ad Effectiveness
- $71,000 M: Less Access to Data
What I find truly amazing in this forecast is that widespread use of Anonomatic PII Vault™ could entirely wipe out complete sections of their list, including each of the sections I listed above. Not only could it eliminate these potential costs, but rather than costs to the economy, the widespread use of PII Vault would add significantly to both the U.S. and the global economies.
PII Vault has been in R&D since 2017 and production since 2020. We designed it from the ground up to allow completely anonymous data to be used as if it were fully identified. This means anonymous data can be stored, shared, and used for data sciences with all the value and versatility of identified data. It also means individualized results, generated from anonymous data, can be acted upon when desired and permitted. We call this “Smart Anonymous Data”.
For the sake of this blog, let’s take our claim regarding the capabilities of Smart Anonymous Data at face value to see what sort of costs you would incur in these areas if the data you were managing and using was Smart Anonymous Data instead of fully identified data.
- Data Access: When data has no identifying details, you don’t spend more money restricting access, you can expand access to it.
- Data Portability: PII Vault was designed to allow independent organizations to anonymize their data so it could be shared but still combined at the individual level, all without risking direct reidentification. So, rather than half a billion in costs restricting data portability, PII Vault expands it.
- Data Deletion: There is good reason to have data retention limits on identified data. But forcing its deletion robs the organization of its own history and valuable data. However, data retention limitations do not apply to anonymous data. One Anonomatic customer is storing hundreds of millions of records that would otherwise be subject to data retention limitations. Because they have been anonymized via PII Vault, they are able to keep these records for decades to enable long-term research.
- Duplicative Enforcement: When data is anonymous, you do not have to police its use multiple times. No added costs here. Likely a cost saving instead.
- Data Infrastructure: One example of added costs without PII Vault is cloud migration. When some of your data cannot move to the cloud, not only does it end up costing more, but it also gets very confusing. With PII Vault, move all your business data to the cloud, completely anonymized, but keep the PII on-prem in the PII Vault. You still get to use all the data in the cloud as if it were fully identified. It is that easy to save these costs.
- Lower Ad Effectiveness: Nobody, not even ad executives, want their personal lives tracked non-stop so they can be targeted for ads. But pretty much everyone is far more likely to respond to a well-targeted, and personalized offer. PII Vault enables this without ever risking the exposure of the individual.
- Less Access to Data: The power of using PII Vault is the ability to grant more access to more people. It is that simple.
Whether you are encountering these types of costs today, or you just want to ensure your data is protected by the very latest privacy-enhancing technology, it is surprisingly easy to try out the PII Vault.
If, on the other hand, you are inclined to think one form, or another, of encryption or tokenization will solve your problem, then we ask you to consider how long encryption and tokenization have been around. If either of those approaches could solve the data privacy problem, then we wouldn’t have a data privacy problem anymore. The reason the problem just gets bigger every year is that the same old, tired, legacy approaches just can’t deliver what is needed today, no matter how they wrap it.
Reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss your situation and have all your questions answered.