Here we analyse the need for better corporate governance in the age of big data through the Facebook scandal
Why does a company need solid governance controls? One need only look at Facebooks stock market value loss in the wake of the social media giant’s recent scandal involving data privacy. In a typical corporation, a $50billion loss of value within a few days would undoubtedly lead to some major changes, and quickly. Zuckerberg seemed to address the issues his company is facing as nothing more than growing pains and lessons learned, despite the fact that they are the eighth largest firm in the world and arguably control the bulk of the entire world’s information distribution along with Google. The obvious remedy to almost anyone else who has paid any attention to the debacle is a better corporate governance structure.
A Much larger Issue
The Facebook problem is only symptomatic of a much larger discussion that urgently needs to be had in today’s world. In the modern world data is life, especially in the business world. But corporate controls also affect the everyday person to a much greater extent than in previous world history, which demands greater accountability and greater care when it comes to data privacy and protection.
Your local independent merchant is really no different in these terms than Facebook or Google, except in scale. If the local merchant has personal data about you, which they likely do, scale is the only difference. They are subject to breaches in that data by sources both internal and external, and the protections against those breaches require similarly good governance – again, only on a smaller scale. However, for most people today there are several global brands that have much larger amounts of data about you for every one local business that has a little.
Governance Is Always The Right Answer
Checks and balances to protect our data are expected on every level, from individuals who grant platforms access to it all the way up to governments that are expected to implement regulatory protections for it. The irony of the situation for businesses is that while governments have an innate tendency to overdo everything – if a regulation is required to control A loosely, it will usually end up controlling A, B, C, and D very tightly – the businesses themselves can really prevent this overreach by simply governing themselves better. If no one ever has a problem with X, the chances of government getting involved in regulating X stay much smaller.
It’s also no mystery – yet further ironic – that over-regulation is more often than not harmful to business practices, stunting growth and thinning profitability. The upshot is that better corporate governance is better for business and everyone else. Businesses are more profitable, users trust them (and therefore use them) more, and government can focus on more important issues.
Good governance starts with and is continually maintained through a solid compliance structure. Compliance Experts provide clients with access to the Compliance Checkpoint Software Technology, which is complimented by our Professional Auditing and Consulting services. This is our unique point of difference. To learn more, visit our website or download the 30 Day Free Trial of Compliance Checkpoint.