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Companies cautious about GenAI over data privacy, security

By Ayushman Baruah
January 30, 2024 18:10 IST
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Organisations are facing growing privacy concerns over the use of generative artificial intelligence (GenAI) while getting attractive returns from investments in privacy, according to Cisco’s latest Data Privacy Benchmark Study.


Photograph: Kind courtesy Mohammad Usman/Pixabay

The findings highlight the responses from 2,600 privacy and security professionals across 12 geographies, said the annual review of key privacy issues impacting business.

"Organisations see GenAI as a fundamentally different technology with novel challenges to consider,” said Dev Stahlkopf, Cisco Chief Legal Officer.


“More than 90 per cent of respondents believe GenAI requires new techniques to manage data and risk.

"This is where thoughtful governance comes into play. Preserving customer trust depends on it.”

The India findings from the report reveal that 92 per cent of the respondents recognise their customers will not buy from them if they do not adequately protect their data, the highest level in years.

All respondents said that external privacy certifications are an important factor in their buying decisions.

Organisations have a responsibility to use data ethically, according to 98 per cent of respondents in India.

96 per cent of respondents agreed that privacy is a business imperative, not just a compliance burden.

95 per cent indicated that privacy’s benefits exceed its costs.

As many as 95 per cent of respondents in India recognised they need to do more to reassure their customers that their data was being used only for intended and legitimate purposes in AI.

69 per cent of respondents in India have said that organisations are ensuring a human is involved in the process to reassure customers about data use and AI.

Data localisation has taken centre stage with 97 per cent of respondents saying that their data would be inherently safer if stored within their country or region.

However, 96 per cent of respondents said that data localisation adds cost to businesses.

As many as 88 per cent of respondents in India said that privacy laws have had a positive impact on their business (the highest after China).

Only 6 per cent of respondents said that privacy laws have had a negative impact on their business.

“In today’s digital-first world, data is a valuable asset, and safeguarding it is not just a compliance matter, but a business imperative.

"The study underscores a critical reality — 92 per cent of respondents acknowledge that customer trust and loyalty are at stake if data protection measures fall short,” said Samir Kumar Mishra, director, Security Business, Cisco India and SAARC.

“This reflects the pivotal role that robust privacy practices play in influencing customers’ buying decisions, as well as a major shift in how companies are addressing them,” he said.

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Ayushman Baruah
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