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Replay Flash Friday: Staying Ahead of the Fintech News with Nicole Wolter Ruckert

Flash Friday is a weekly live show that brings the latest news and developments to the audience.

On 2nd April, Don Ginsel, CEO and Founder at Holland Fintech, had a morning chat with Nicole Wolter Ruckert, Head of Data Privacy at Allen & Overy, to discuss the topic of data protection, financial consulting and data risk management. Allen & Overy is an international law firm that helps the world’s leading businesses to grow, innovate and thrive through a network of over 100 countries. In this 30-minute chat, Nicole Wolter Ruckert answered the most relevant questions about the GDPA, the role of financial institutions in guarding data and how public opinions affect data privacy policy. 

Topics discussed and key points addressed: 

What is your role in the company?

I have been a data protection lawyer for 17 years. I am now leading the data and privacy team in Amsterdam, advising clients on data protection issues. Nowadays the topic of AI, algorithms and digital networks has been more popular, people realize the importance of privacy policy and therefore I legally advise clients including financial institutions on what they can and cannot do.

Having data or guarding data of someone becomes more and more of a liability. Do you see that there is a risk in there?

I do see there is a risk in there because there is enforcement and the level of charge has become much higher on the GDPA. There are actually more and more enforcement throughout Europe on both big parties and small parties. The issues brought up are cookie consent, validate consent, data access and so on. Therefore data protection has become an important business because it is not a theoretical risk anymore.

Do you think that public opinions have become more important in this area?

You see more mass claims and that has something to do with public opinions. Mass claims mean that people believe that they have damages as consequences of processing personal data. You also see that individual citizens complain and go to court more easily for not being satisfied with the company’s policies on disclosing personal data. Although the compensation for those cases are not that high, that marks the friction and active status of people trying to protect their data, which could be interesting for financial institutions such as banks with regard to cybersecurity. 

What is the role of financial services in data safeguarding? 

Financial institutions are accountable for being on top of what is happening in the dark world, tackling the challenges by taking one step ahead. During the pandemic, it is reported that companies are more likely to be the victims of cyber attacks due to the fact that people work from home, the system becomes more vulnerable and there is less control over the digital activities. These reasons explain the enormous rise in cyber crime and that also brings up the concerns of getting digital resilience. However, it is still challenging to answer the question of what needs to be done to prevent the illegal acts but still remain the positive impact. 

How do small companies and organizations which have little resources can deal with data protection?

We do lots of transactions and we do see that small companies are struggling. While big companies have a very large data privacy team, small companies (especially organically growing companies) have ideas but the actual solutions are not written down on paper. In that case, they need to align between theory and practice to turn ideas into actions and execute the manoeuvre timely and correctly. 

The hosts closed the conversation with a really interesting remark: How to impose stringent regulations but still foster innovative development? Besides the responsibilities taken by law firms and privacy consulting parties, it is also important to get the consumers onboard, enlighten them about the real risk of data invasion and how it can hurt them mentally and financially. Matters such as email phishing attack, identity fraud, or account impersonation need to be touched upon to give people better knowledge and intervention. 

Do you want to listen to the full conversation, watch the recording below!

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