January 18, 2021
‘Data is the new oil’, so the simple universal buzzword goes. The metaphor deceptively underlines the wildcatting nature of oil exploration, plus the extractive exploitation of a trapped asset and the attendant excitement that accompany the boom. Inevitably, terms from the oil industry have slithered into the data protection realm such as data-hoarding, data-dividend and many other eponymous terms.
The metaphor also insinuates that data being an asset, then ownership of the data itself, are brought to fore. According to David Loshin (President of Knowledge Integrity, Inc.), ownership implies power as well as control. “The control of information includes not just the ability to access, create, modify, package, derive benefit from, sell or remove data, but also the right to assign these access privileges to others”. He goes on to argue that “data has intrinsic value as well as having added value as a by-product of information processing. At the core, the degree of ownership (and by corollary, the degree of responsibility) is driven by the value that each interested party derives from the use of that information”.
With the consignment of data as a resource, asset or inordinate item of value, it follows that owners and custodians of data would be predisposed to protecting the data. Data protection is the process of safeguarding important information from corruption, compromise or loss. The importance of data protection increases as the amount of data created and stored continues to grow at unprecedented rates.