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Innovation will fail without data transparency

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The arrival of the 2020s is as much an opportunity to consider our approach to innovation for the decade ahead as it is to reflect on the monumental changes we have seen over the 10 years past.

The 2010s have hosted the spread of digitization and the heightened importance of customer experience, the increasing invisibility of payments and the growth of platforms that will convert and exchange a wide range of value beyond currency, which have all contributed to our data-driven, hyper-connected world where trust is everything.

Think of the many devices, platforms and services you now use everyday and all the information about you that exists in digital form. When we take advantage of new products and services, we frequently offer up our data as a cost to entry. In doing so, we are putting our trust in the organizations behind these innovations.

Looking ahead, businesses have a role to play both in designing transparency and consent into products and services, but also in educating consumers on how the data will be used and how to protect that information.

We all need a level of digital confidence to understand who we’re allowing into our lives, who we’re permitting to use our data and assurance of authentic engagement as we interact with everyone and everything in our digital reality. This will only become more critical as technologies like artificial intelligence and machine learning come into general use.

Digital IDs would help us securely verify our identity without sharing sensitive personal information, while providing assurance that the counterparty to a transaction is who they claim to be. Removing any second-guessing about the authenticity and validity of data will be instrumental in facilitating future developments in payments in Canada such as open banking. As everything becomes increasingly connected, our approach to digital innovation needs to be anchored in facts and evidence that are irrefutable.

This will require a new engagement model of public and private sector collaboration allowing for the digitization of foundational identity enabling citizens, residents and businesses to access a wide range of public and private services efficiently and conveniently, and with a greater level of trust in the safety of their information.

As an industry, our approach to innovation must be built on a trust framework which accelerates technology and business needs without compromising our security and privacy. Establishing and maintaining trust with our consumer base cannot just be a tick-box exercise, but rather it needs to be a business imperative in and of itself. To ensure we can earn and retain trust over the long term, we must deliver solutions that are relevant to our customers’ needs and enable simple engagement with choice and control.

We cannot yet fully contemplate the impact innovation over the next 10 years will have, but there’s no question that it will reshape our society, particularly our relationship with data.

When innovation is built and delivered on a framework of trust, it can unlock the full potential of the digital economy and be a catalyst for abundance and success.

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