The rise of connected devices and the Internet of Things (IoT) will present organisations with big challenges surrounding the issues of collecting and using data for business benefit.
That’s what Ian Cohen, group CIO for insurance brokers JLT Group told Computing in a recent interview in which he described data as “the lifeblood of our business”.
The comments come as the European Union’s Article 29 Working Party watchdog argued the Internet of Things will require new forms of informed consent as a legal basis for the processing of personal data.
Cohen believes the IoT could enable brokers to base their judgements on real-time data, rather than predictions and estimates.
“It is going to fundamentally change the way we consume and act on data,” he told Computing.
“If you think about our business, a lot of our activity was actuarial where clever people build models and took views on what might happen in future, but IoT moves us from actuarial to actual,” Cohen explained. “It gives us insight into what’s happening in real time.”
However, he conceded that despite all that data being potentially available, there are still questions over whether an organisation should be using that data and what the implications are if they do.
“That presents a whole other set of challenges about how to use data and we’re still working out what that means. Just because you can collect all this information, should you? What are the social and ethical obligations and implications around a ‘connected everything world’,” Cohen asked.
“It’s not something I see written about much and I think we’re coming to this point where the debate needs to be had,” he continued. “It’s more than just privacy and I guess we can’t say that the jury’s out because they haven’t even sat.”