Rethink data privacy to spur innovation: Intel

Intel has called on the industry thought leaders in technology, healthcare, education and smart cities industries to rethink data privacy to spur innovation.

In a keynote address to industry leaders, Malcolm Harkins, vice president and chief security and privacy officer for Intel reminded that the potential to unlock revolutionary discoveries is at stake, and called on the industry to be more transparent and accountable when collecting and using consumer data.

In fact a recent survey of U.S adults, conducted online by Harris Poll on behalf of Intel, revealed a lack of understanding and an inherent distrust regarding how their data is used.

A majority of respondents (84 percent) believe that some kind of data about them or from their devices is being collected and sold to third parties. Nearly two-thirds of device owners in the survey admit they have no idea who has access to data from their devices or how it is used.

Malcolm Harkins, vice president and chief security and privacy officer for Intel
Malcolm Harkins, vice president and chief security and privacy officer for Intel

Transparent business practices are required to foster innovation. An underlying mistrust among people about what businesses know about them and how they are using that information could hinder innovation.

“If we want to spur innovation and realize the true potential of big data to solve the world’s greatest challenges, technology leaders and organizations have to assume responsibility for establishing transparent business practices, designing privacy-enhancing technologies, and encouraging legislation that helps instill trust,” Harkins added.

The explosive growth in computing, storage and analytics has opened huge opportunities for innovation, but this also brings significant uncertainty and concern among people.

Technology can address these issues proactively, according to Intel. For example, Intel is deploying vPro Technology, which helps address threat management, data protection and remote monitoring, the internal deployment of security business intelligence that enables early detection and mitigation for advanced threats, as well as the pilot deployment of sensors and analytics at an Intel plant in Malaysia.

The Harris Poll also revealed increasing concerns about privacy for wearable devices than they are about privacy for smartphones, tablets and PCs.

Device owners show a willingness to explore privacy-related technologies, with more than half (53 percent) stating they would consider purchasing an app or service that allows them to choose what type of data their devices are automatically sharing and with which companies.

Intel’s global privacy officer, David Hoffman, said, “Big data will play a critical role in the next step in the evolution of computing. Whether big data is successful in solving those challenges will largely depend on whether we get the privacy issues right.”

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