Connect with us

Politics

A New Way to Enhance Consumer Privacy – ReadWrite

Published

on

Jay Pavagadhi


Personal data is the raw material that fuels a significant proportion of business operations. A few examples include credit card scoring based on collated personal data from various sources, calculation of premiums based on past driving habits, or the use of online tracking to build complete profiles of individuals and then targeting them with personalized ads based on those profiles. While personal data is highly essential to these business operations, individuals have little to no control and oversight on the collection and usage of their personal data.

There is anger towards the data economy and frequent privacy violations; there are still ways to restore control to the people and rebuild a trust-based and transparent relationship.

This lack of control is due to a few practices common to the current data collection and usage practices:

  • Personal data is scattered across so many different companies that it is nearly impossible to keep track of who accesses it, how they use it or who they share it with. For example, data brokers’ business model depends on the collecting, collating, selling and licensing personal data on a mass scale. It is next to impossible to track data across systems and determine whether the data was obtained lawfully or object to the processing of data.
  • The reproducible nature of data exacerbates the risks even further, contributing to a growing fear over privacy. Once personal data enters into a business’ internal systems, it can be copied to multiple locations, used by employees on their personal devices, left unprotected on legacy servers. All these processing activities increase unauthorized use or access to personal data.
  • Collection, analysis, and personal data transfer are usually conducted behind closed doors not visible to individuals and often with technologies such as machine learning, which is opaque to ordinary individuals. Individuals are often not adequately informed about the use of their data due to reasons such as trade secrets, impracticality, or simply the bureaucratic hurdles caused by the relevant business itself. Even laws such as GDPR and CCPA may not be effective at coercing a business to provide the maximum transparency possible.

Individuals’ lack of knowledge on collection, use and sharing of their personal data inevitably leads to distrust in companies involved in personal data collection.

The imbalance of power and lack of trust is evidenced by a PRC study that found that 76% of Americans do not trust third-party businesses to handle their personal data and feel a sense of lack of control over how their data is collected, managed and used.

Furthermore, Americans outside of California want to have more control over their data and want to have the same protections on their personal data as regulated under CCPA (91%).

While consumer demands are crystal-clear, how to deliver on those demands remains unclear. Personal Data Stores, however, can be an effective solution to remedy consumer concerns and provide them the visibility and control over their data.

Personal Data Stores – An unconventional solution to a bleeding problem

What is the Personal Data Store?

Personal Data Store (PDS) is like a safe for individuals to upload, share, store, edit and erase their personal information, such as addresses, passport numbers, credit history, health records and other information.

One unique character of the PDS is that users(consumers) can unilaterally grant or withdraw consent to access their personal data. Once the consumer decides to block access to her data, the relevant business is prevented from accessing it.

How Personal Data Stores help consumers regain control over their data?

1. Increased transparency equals stronger control

Firstly, Personal Data Store gives complete visibility over what data an individual has, who accesses it, how it is used, and for what purposes.

The scattered nature of personal data in the current ecosystem makes it impossible for individuals to track who retains their data and who they share it with. For example, home address data could be captured and stored by data brokers, postal offices, e-commerce companies and various other entities. If individual wishes to find out who uses their data and how, it would be challenging to contact each entity, fill out forms, and then track requests.

With Personal Data Stores, however, individuals are given exclusive control and visibility over how their data is processed and by whom. Increased transparency is a prerequisite to having control over data and this is what personal data stores achieve.

Thanks to this visibility, consumers can withdraw access to certain third parties, edit personal data that is not accurate and ask for the deletion of their data.

2. Stronger control enables the exercise of privacy rights under the relevant laws

New privacy laws such as GDPR and CCPA provided new rights to consumers, such as the right to deletion of their data, the right to rectify inaccurate data and the right to restrict access to their data.

For consumers to properly exercise their rights under these laws, they first must have complete information about the collection and use of their data. Exercising privacy rights is a decision, and this decision will not be well-informed without individuals having control and visibility.

Via Personal Data Stores, individuals can see which specific data is accessed by which specific third-party on a granular level.

One factor that plays a vital role in the successful implementation of privacy rights is a convenient and swift exercise of those rights. If a consumer has to fill out tens of details to complete a form, wait for weeks to get her privacy right fulfilled, then the essence of such privacy rights would be undermined because the consumers would be discouraged from using their rights.

What if a person changes her health insurance plan and now has to contact multiple pharmacies and hospitals to update this detail?

New privacy laws exist to restore control to the individuals, and this cannot be achieved with processes that make it unbearable for individuals even to try to exercise their rights. In other words, the individuals would not be empowered but rather find themselves in the same powerless position.

Personal Data Store serves the purpose of privacy laws because it streamlines the process of exercising privacy rights such as deletion and data rectification rights. It provides a single user-interface that people can use to send their requests without dealing with the separate and cumbersome procedures set by third-party businesses.

Suppose an individual wishes data concerning her unsuccessful job applications deleted, for instance. In that case, she can log this request via the Personal Data Store, and all relevant third parties will be notified of this request and they will have to execute on such request.

A better future for privacy lies ahead.

New privacy regulations across the globe brought significant obligations on businesses to respect privacy and allow individuals to exercise certain rights over their data. While these new laws and the expansion of privacy is to be celebrated, there is still more work to be done. Personal Data Store can contribute to individuals’ empowerment by allowing them to exercise stricter control over the access and usage of their data.

Jay Pavagadhi

Jay Pavagadhi is Founder and CEO at California based data privacy startup – Olak. Previously, he worked on a wide range of high-impact projects within Siri, Bing Search, Exchange Mail, Azure, and Yahoo! Mail at big tech companies including Apple, Microsoft, Yahoo, and Nvidia.

Politics

Why (and How) Startups Should Implement Performance Management Early – ReadWrite

Published

on

Why (and How) Startups Should Implement Performance Management Early – ReadWrite


A company is only as successful as its people. However, early-stage companies often deprioritize proper talent management and place all their focus on the day-to-day operations of the business. These companies eventually find themselves reaching a point where their talent management processes aren’t keeping up with growth.

Hiring and retaining the right talent for your organization is just as crucial as having a great service or product, especially in the early stages of building a company. In this article, we list some important considerations in implementing employee performance management for startups.

Implementing Employee Performance Management Early

1) Define company values

Firstly, startups should define their company values. Values are the guiding principles and fundamental beliefs of an organization, and there are many benefits in defining company values early on. For example, having a core set of company values makes it easier for a company to hire and retain employees with the right aptitudes. Moreover, values help shape company culture, which will influence employee experience, engagement, and productivity.

In addition to defining values, startups need to ensure that their values are communicated frequently. Only 27 percent of U.S. employees strongly agree that they believe in their organization’s values. Instead of simply listing values on your website, startups need to integrate values into their talent management process. They can do this by:

  • clearly and frequently communicating the company’s values
  • aligning core values with behaviors expected from employees
  • continuously monitoring employees’ actions and behaviors

Integrating values into the performance management process enables the employees to live and practice company values on a day-to-day basis. Companies can also make their values known during the hiring process – write the values in the job description and reiterate these values during the recruiting process.

Candidates and current employees should always be aware of the fundamental beliefs of the company. One tip on values – make them as actionable as possible. If one of your values is “honesty,” define specific behaviors that enforce and demonstrate honesty. (There are many resources (Korn Ferry, Iota Consultants, Ignition Group, etc.) that can help you define or adapt company values.)

“If I could go back and do Zappos all over again, I would actually come up with our values from day one.” – Tony Hsieh

2) Align goals

Effective performance management begins with goal alignment. Understanding company objectives is imperative. Half of the workforce doesn’t know what is expected of them. Managers should understand every company’s mission, clearly communicate the objectives, and make them easily accessible and visible for all team members (e.g., team-wide monthly progress report).

In terms of goal alignment, a common question that startups often face is “should I use OKRs?”

OKRs (Objectives and Key Results) are often used to cascade goals from the organizational level to the individual level. This can help create goal alignment as it helps employees understand how they contribute to organizational objectives.

OKRs are powerful; however, if a company’s strategies and objectives are frequently adapting (which is often the case in startups), the structured top-down approach of setting OKRs from the organizational level to department- and then to individual levels can be a hassle.

OKRs would need to be adjusted each time overall organizational strategies are changed. Frankly, this is a significant exercise that is not worth the time.

This doesn’t mean a company shouldn’t align goals. One approach is to set up OKRs at the organizational and department levels on a monthly basis and let managers delegate and own their key results and adapt as often as needed.

“Building a visionary company requires one percent vision and 99 percent alignment.” – Jim Collins and Jerry Porra

3) Develop a culture of feedback

Feedback is crucial in the talent management process. There are many benefits to having regular feedback conversations with employees. Firstly, it motivates employees, thus increasing employee engagement & productivity. Secondly, it generates lots of employee performance data which can enable better training and talent decisions. Finally, it enables better work relationships which can have a significant impact on company culture.

While managers may avoid giving feedback due to fear of hurting an employee’s feelings, more than half of employees want corrective feedback over praise and recognition! Most employees want real-time feedback and recognition for jobs well done.

The younger generations (Millennials and Generation Z) want 50 percent more feedback than other generations. Sharing feedback can be challenging at first. Enforcing the right processes and rituals early on will help ingrain feedback into your company culture. It is worth noting that creating and sustaining a culture of feedback is easiest to implement early on.

When it comes to documenting feedback, pen-and-paper approaches can be sufficient for early-stage companies. If an organization has more than 15 people, it will highly benefit from a performance management system that helps store and analyze feedback, objectives, etc., in one place. Ultimately, this will help simplify the performance management process and enable people analytics to help make better talent and training decisions.

“Make feedback normal. Not a performance review.” – Ed Batista

Conclusion

Implementing a performance management process in the workplace early on will better equip startups in developing and motivating their employees and ultimately improve a startup’s success and growth.

Remember that culture and people cannot be replicated – these two factors often differentiate a startup from its competitors. Your culture and people are worth the investment upfront.

Image Credit: ron lach; pexels; thank you!

Chiara Toselli

Chiara Toselli is the Head of Marketing & Sales at Pavestep. She helps businesses manage their most important asset – their talent. She has published a variety of content about employee performance management, company culture, and many more topics in HR.

Continue Reading

Politics

Gabb Wireless Raises $14M in Series A Funding Led by Sandlot Partners and Taysom Hill – ReadWrite

Published

on

Deanna Ritchie


Gabb Wireless Raises $14M in Series A Funding Led by Sandlot Partners and Taysom Hill

Gabb Wireless™ set itself apart from the crowd in 2018 when Founder and CEO, Stephen Dalby said, “enough is enough,” and began his journey to provide the only safe phones-for-kids.

LEHI, UTAH – APRIL 20, 2021

 

Dave Jensen, Managing Partner of Sandlot Partners, announced today that, “Sandlot Partners is investing and partnering with Gabb Wireless not only because of its impressive growth and positioning to lead the $30 billion smartphones-for-kids market — but also because it is providing solutions to address the significant screen time addiction problem in our society.”

Gabb Wireless™ is the first of its kind — a company determined to protect children by providing a safe cellular network for kids and their phones. Gabb created the only safe phones-for-kids serving this underserved demographic. Gabb announced this week that it closed a $14 million round of Series A, led by Sandlot Partners and New Orleans Saints quarterback, Taysom Hill.

“As an investor, Gabb checked all the boxes with its impressive growth, founding team and total addressable market. But it’s so much more than that for me. It’s the emotional side of the investment. I love the idea that we can help build something to help save kids in an area with so much need and demand. My wife Emily and I try to be pretty selective of who we tie our brand to — and when considering the chance to invest and partner with Gabb, it was a no-brainer for us and something that we are extremely excited about,” said Saints quarterback, Taysom Hill.

Stephen Dalby, Gabb Founder & CEO, announced the partnership with Sandlot Partners and Taysom Hill. “We’re excited to announce our partnership with Sandlot Partners and Taysom Hill, who share our passion for driving impact and providing solutions to the growing screen addiction among adolescents.”

“Sandlot has a strong track record of fueling growth and adding value to their portfolio companies. Taysom’s accomplishments as a BYU and Saints quarterback are well documented, and he’s also very impressive off the field and will be a great brand ambassador for the younger demographic Gabb is targeting.”

Gabb Wireless

Kids need to be protected — and Gabb resolved on an action to do just that. Gabb set itself apart from the crowd in 2018 with a steadfast purpose to get safe, effective phones into the hands of parents who want to protect their children from inappropriate content and disturbing practices on social media and games, and other screen-time issues on the internet.

For some time, it’s been known that social media is affecting our youth with cyberbullying and other societal ills. The average child or pre-teen spends about four to seven hours a day of screen time. This disproportionate amount of time in front of a screen has caused depression, anxiety, and even sexual abuse among young adolescents.

Gabb said, “enough is enough,” and began its journey as a mobile virtual network operator, creating the safest technology available for children today. Gabb offers age-appropriate products to give kids the freedom to explore and their parent’s peace of mind. Children can enjoy their first phone experience with the affordable, $100 phone that protects them from internet dangers. Learn more at www.gabbwireless.com.

Gabb has had an unprecedented year of 471% growth and will use the proceeds from the Series A financing to accelerate efforts to provide safe phones for kids and expand its product lines — increasing Gabb’s total addressable market with these safe alternatives for parents of kids ages five to 15.

Sandlot Partners

Sandlot Partners is an independent private investment firm partnering with noteworthy management owners and founders. Sandlot Partners help maximize the growth potential of businesses by providing companies with growth capital, strategic guidance, and partial liquidity. Sandlot leverages its network of founders and operators, identifies growth opportunities, helps structure, and offers additional strong risk-adjusted private investment opportunities. Sandlot investors also include family offices, strategic individuals, and like-minded institutions seeking strong alignment and providing patient capital.

Cooley, LLP, and VLP Law Group provided legal services for this transaction.

Deanna Ritchie

Managing Editor at ReadWrite

Deanna is the Managing Editor at ReadWrite. Previously she worked as the Editor in Chief for Startup Grind and has over 20+ years of experience in content management and content development.

Continue Reading

Politics

How to Build a Startup Team With an Entrepreneurial Mindset – ReadWrite

Published

on

Nate Nead


Much of your startup’s success will depend on the quality and integrity of the team you put together. With talented, committed, hardworking people, even a merely decent idea can turn into something groundbreaking. Conversely, even a great idea can struggle to survive if it doesn’t have a solid team in place to support it. 

Obviously, you’ll need to work hard to choose the right people for your team – individuals with a solid experiential background, proof of ample talent, and genuine passion for the business. But beyond that, you’ll need to work actively to equip your team with the right mindsets and philosophies to guide them to productive, innovative work. 

While there are conflicting opinions for what type of company culture works “best,” there’s no denying that your company can (and likely will) benefit from building a team with an “entrepreneurial mindset.” But what is this mentality, and how can you construct it from scratch? 

What Is an “Entrepreneurial Mindset?” 

Let’s start with a description of the “entrepreneurial mindset.” This is an internalized mentality, philosophy, and approach to working within the members of your team that mimics what the most ambitious entrepreneurs tend to feel. 

The mindset includes: 

  • Creativity. Entrepreneurs are creative types. They want to create new ideas, modify existing ones, and come up with inventive new ways to deal with problems. They’re not afraid to think outside the box and try out new concepts – even if they don’t work out. They also like to encourage and promote creative ideas from other people, providing feedback, direction, and motivation to their teammates. 
  • Autonomy and independence. The entrepreneurial mindset also prioritizes autonomy and independence. Entrepreneurs in a business environment don’t wait for someone else to tell them what to do, and they generally don’t have to run their ideas through a bureaucratic chain of command to take action. Instead, they trust themselves, they operate decisively, and they remain agile. In an entrepreneurial environment, your employees will function autonomously in most cases as well. 
  • Change and growth. To be an entrepreneur is to accept the importance of change and growth. The only way for your business to reach more people and make more money is to evolve; that means adding new products and services, changing internal processes, and sometimes, pivoting the entire brand. 
  • Experimentation and adaptation. You probably already know how important it is to remain flexible and adaptable when growing your business. It’s also important for your workforce. With an entrepreneurial mindset, your team of employees will be much more likely to experiment with different approaches and adapt to new scenarios. 
  • Ambitious problem solving. Successful business owners are primarily ambitious problem solvers; they understand there’s some weakness or challenge in the world and are driven to “fix it.” With this mentality, your employees will be more likely to show enthusiasm when solving problems and rising to meet challenges. 

The Value of an Entrepreneurial Team 

So what’s the real value of an entrepreneurial team? 

For starters, you can cut back on direct management and oversight. When all members of your team feel like they have a direct impact on their work environment, and when they’re empowered to do their best, they don’t need as much direction or supervision. Instead of looking over their shoulder, giving them project details, or micromanaging your employees, you can set priorities for them, trust that they’re going to work toward them, and shift your attention to more important matters. This lends itself to a less stressed, more inviting workplace – and allows you to be more productive while tackling the most important projects for your startup

An entrepreneurial mindset also leads to a diversity of thought. When individuals are encouraged to have their own ideas, thoughts, and opinions, they tend to speak more openly in a collaborative environment. They’re more willing to volunteer ideas, offer constructive criticism, and provide meaningful feedback to each other. Such an environment makes it much easier to identify and get rid of bad ideas (before it’s too late), while simultaneously establishing the groundwork for the presentation of highly ingenious concepts. 

Additionally, startups need to keep adapting if they’re going to stay alive. Over time, your target market might change, you might face new competition, and new challenges will threaten your previous approaches. The only way forward is to adapt, incorporating new systems and processes and changing your infrastructure. Ordinarily, teams of employees are reluctant to adapt – after all, most of us don’t particularly like change. However, when the team accepts the importance and value of ongoing adaptability, they’ll be much more likely to be onboard with your latest changes and experiments. 

How to Build a Startup Team With an Entrepreneurial Mindset

Now for the big question – how can you build an entire startup team with a baked-in entrepreneurial mindset? 

  • Create the culture. Everything stems from your company culture. Before you employ any of the following strategies, make sure you have a solid idea for what you want your company culture to be. What are your core values? What is the “ideal” employee mindset? How should this mindset be fostered? What rules exist, if any, to enforce this? Document your company culture guidelines first. 
  • Choose the right candidates. With a culture document in place, you’ll find it much easier to interview candidates – and find out whether they’re a good fit for this environment. Even if they have a lot of talent and experience, they may not thrive in an entrepreneurial workplace; figure this out early, before you hire someone. 
  • Lead by example. You’re the leader, so set the tone. People will follow your example. Whatever habits you want your employees to practice, incorporate them into your own daily work. 
  • Nurture from the top down. You’re not the only leader within your organization, so make sure you select and support strong leaders who can embody and spread your desired entrepreneurial culture from the top down. 
  • Encourage independent management and decision making. Sometimes, employees will have to run their idea “up the ladder” before taking action. But as much as possible, it’s important to encourage autonomy and independent decision making. Empower your employees to make their own decisions, set their own goals, and devise their own approaches to work.  
  • Stimulate creativity. Creativity is vital for an entrepreneurial mindset to thrive. Use creative brainstorming sessions, music, art, and other exercises to encourage your team to think in novel ways. 
  • Get everyone to contribute in meetings. Encourage every member of your team to contribute in your meetings. More contributors will foster an environment of openness and collaborative sharing; it will also help you ferret out the best ideas, which otherwise might be held back by nervous participants. 
  • Reward good ideas. When a member of your team comes up with a good idea or solves a complex problem, reward them and publicly praise them. It will encourage further idea generation in the future and motivate other team members to volunteer their own ideas. 
  • Respect bad ideas. It’s not just about good ideas; it’s also important to tolerate and even respect bad ideas. When someone volunteers a questionable idea or makes a poor decision, show your support. Feel free to offer feedback and criticism, but don’t make the person feel bad for trying to do something inventive or helpful. You don’t want to punish people for trying something new. 
  • Remain adaptive. The most innovative, disruptive businesses are the ones that can adapt. Encourage your team members to remain similarly adaptable, keeping an open mind for new ideas and being willing to change when necessary. 

Once your team is full of people thinking and acting like entrepreneurs, your company will be much more flexible, innovative, and productive. And best of all, this entrepreneurial culture tends to be self-sustaining; your employees will naturally spread it to new recruits and continue to foster this creative, efficient environment. 

Nate Nead

Nate Nead is the CEO & Managing Member of Nead, LLC, a consulting company that provides strategic advisory services across multiple disciplines including finance, marketing and software development. For over a decade Nate had provided strategic guidance on M&A, capital procurement, technology and marketing solutions for some of the most well-known online brands. He and his team advise Fortune 500 and SMB clients alike. The team is based in Seattle, Washington; El Paso, Texas and West Palm Beach, Florida.

Continue Reading

Copyright © 2020 Diliput News.