As the world marks Data Privacy Day on January 28th, Australians are increasingly wary of how their personal information is handled by organisations. This sentiment comes amidst a backdrop of escalating data breaches and the rapid adoption of Generative Artificial Intelligence (GenAI) technologies by businesses in 2023.
A survey conducted by the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) reveals a stark reality: 60% of Australians do not trust organisations to competently manage their data. Furthermore, 58% remain in the dark about how their personal information is utilised. These figures underscore the growing importance of Data Privacy Day in 2024 as Australians grapple with the complexities of data management and the risks to their privacy.
Keir Garrett, Regional Vice President of Cloudera ANZ, a data company for Enterprise AI, emphasises the challenges and opportunities presented by GenAI. "Generative Artificial Intelligence has been the tech story of 2023 as organisations scrambled to adopt the technology in the enterprise," she says. "Chatbots, automated report generation, and personalised emails are just the tip of the iceberg of how GenAI drives creativity and productivity while improving customer experience."
Garrett highlights a crucial aspect of AI adoption: the quality of data fed into these models. "The key to trusting your AI is to first trust your data," she explains. "Advancements in AI/ML have even let organisations extract value from unstructured data, making the management, governance, and control of all data critical."
With an impressive 75% of Australian organisations already adopting AI/ML technologies, Garrett points out the increasing need for secure and governed data platforms. "Privacy concerns are valid, especially considering how companies train or prompt GenAI models like ChatGPT with data," she notes.
To effectively navigate the treacherous waters of data security and privacy risks, Garrett advises organisations to prioritise data security and governance in their strategic planning. "Investing in modern data platforms and tools with built-in security and governance capabilities allows companies to democratise their data in a secure and governed manner," she suggests. This approach, he believes, is crucial for successfully training enterprise AI/ML models.
Data Privacy Day 2024 thus stands as a critical reminder of the evolving challenges in data management and privacy. As Australian organisations continue to embrace GenAI technologies, the necessity for robust data governance and security strategies becomes ever more apparent. In a landscape where trust in data management is dwindling, the path forward demands a concerted focus on securing and responsibly utilising the data that powers the future of AI.