Editorials, Ethics, Security, SQL Server

Will the GDPR Lead To More Data Silos?

When I first started reading this post, “The battle for control of data could be just starting” I was thinking that it was interesting that some services were feeling the pinch to get their data out of “the big guys” in terms of awareness and IP surrounding accounts and people.  Basically, some companies are re-thinking marketing engines and services and integrating their efforts with those services (think Facebook, Google, etc.).

It’s long been said that if you’re not paying for a product or service on a site, you are the product or service.  In other words, the site is generating their income from your visit information.  But, with companies using these platforms for marketing, for research, for outreach and hosting, they’re concerned that they, too, are feeding the proverbial beast.  Potentially giving the services competitive information that could be used by, well, competitors to market to those same people.


If you look at how information is used by some of these, indeed their profiles and models are based on their broad knowledge of the users of their systems – knowledge of what they buy, where they go, what they do.  It’s all willingly contributed in the quest to identify customers, but it’s useful to competitors potentially as well.

Then I saw the mention of the GDPR – the new upcoming regulations surrounding personally identifiable information and data and handling of those.  It has me wondering if the combination of those two things could possibly lead to more silo’ing of information, and a shift away from the current trend to bring all of this data together for the good of the whole.

It seems like the GDPR is likely to put teeth in data protection and the added competitive landscape added to that could be a bit of a perfect storm.  No matter what you may feel about the GDPR and how it locks down information and imposes penalties, the fact is it’s a reality and may have real impact on the data you’re storing.

The biggest things I’ve been seeing is a reluctance to store information as freely.  In other words, if the company doesn’t see a need to have the information, they’re getting rid of it as quickly as possible.  This may seem like a good thing, but it will be a major point of planning for all of us working with and providing information systems.  I think this is one of those things where we all need to be up to speed on the implications to systems and data and provide for compliance and security for these data bits.

I think too it’ll lead to many, many companies so protecting their information that the current trend of information sharing and transparency may be really strongly impacted.  As we work through the impact of these types of regulations, we’ll have to see what approaches make the most sense for sharing information.

In the meantime, it’s a really good idea to read up on what’s going on (link above) and starting the conversation about the impact it may have on your systems.