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ESG, cyber risk and privacy are all hot topics in compliance, but that doesn’t mean people typically identify the data issues as ESG topics. Lisa Beth Lentini Walker (LinkedIn), CEO & Founder of Lumen Worldwide Endeavors and Assistant General Counsel at Marqueta, thinks that’s a mistake. Cyber and privacy, she believes, fall very much under the Social in Environmental Social and Governance. Just look at the many ethical issues surrounding data usage these days as proof.
She explains in this podcast and in the chapter “ESG, Cyber and Privacy: Bridging the Divide” in the 2023 Complete Compliance & Ethics Manual, that privacy and security are not separate and apart from ESG. They are central to how the organization navigates the world and people around it. Keeping data secure is squarely under the social mission of the enterprise.
To live up to that obligation, organizations have to focus more on keeping data safe and building proper systems around how individuals interact with the data. Simply believing “well, we have a good practice” is not enough. The practices have to support the ESG framework in terms of meeting the company’s commitments.
In addition, the temptation to be data hoarders has to be tempered. Collecting data is easy to do, and it’s generally inexpensive to store. That makes it easy to rationalize indefinite retention. But, a clear path to data destruction is essential. Think of it like cleaning out the closet. It may not be easy, but it needs to get done.
Organizations also need to embrace greater transparency about the processes in place to safeguard and use data. That helps investors and rating agencies better assess how the entity is measuring up against the SASB and other standards.
Listen in to learn more, and then check out the 2023 Complete Compliance & Ethics Manual.