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How AI Can Help Bolster Customer Privacy

4 minute read
Andie Burjek avatar
Here's what your customers need to know about the benefits of using AI for data security.

Data privacy is increasingly important to customers. Seventy-eight percent of consumers are fearful about the amount of their personal data being collected, according to a recent TechRepublic report. The survey also found that 40% of consumers say they don’t trust brands to use their data ethically. In this environment, organizations must do everything in their power to support privacy and protect data. One vital tool here is artificial intelligence.

Gartner analysts predict that by the year 2023, 40% of privacy technology will rely on AI. This is a positive trend, considering the many strengths of AI to optimize data security in the modern world. Still, many customers are wary. According to the European Consumer Organization in 2020, 45-60% of Europeans agree that AI will lead to more abuse of personal data. With this disconnect growing, here is what your customers need to know about the benefits of using AI for data security.

Decrease Human Error in Obtaining Sensitive Information

The fewer people who have access to personal data, the better. AI technology is one tool companies can use to minimize access. AI can proactively mask sensitive requests where customers must share personal information like a credit card or social security number. Then, this sensitive information gets automatically populated into the destination system without a live agent having access. This way, customers don’t need to share information with an agency, which reduces the risk of someone obtaining and illegally using customers’ personal information.

While maintaining control on who has access to data sets, organizations can also consistently audit how the data is being accessed to look for red flags and reduce the chances of a data breach. Meanwhile, as long as there are some people who can still access personal data, organizations can invest in training to help employees understand how easily bad actors can steal customer data. Training can focus on actionable items employees can take to proactively protect customer data.

AI Redacts Information as Soon as Possible From the Conversation

There are many reasons contact centers need to collect sensitive data, but many data requests are temporary — asking customers to verify their identity for example. Certain AI technology redacts that information in real time – allowing customers to talk through their problem unhindered while the system automatically blacks out particularly sensitive information like SSNs and credit card numbers. This capability lets customers get what they need from their service call, while still allowing agents to support customers without seeing personal identifiable information (PII).

Learning Opportunities

Decreasing Identity Theft and Increasing Compliance

Experts estimate identity theft happens every 14 seconds, according to the National Council on Identity Theft Protection. AI helps organizations modernize, standardize and manage their privacy practices to reduce the risk of error. For example, when it comes to monitoring how employees are accessing sensitive data, AI can be trained to recognize normal behavior and flag anomalies. According to a recent IBM survey, tools such as AI, security analytics and encryption are major mitigating factors to reduce the costs of data breaches. These tools save companies between $1.25 and $1.49 million, compared to companies who do not use these tools often, IBM found.

AI-driven tools can also be used to ensure that organizations are complying with all necessary privacy standards and guidelines. Laws like the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) and Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA) limit organizations’ ability to collect, store and share customer data, while the PCI Data Security Standard focuses on organizations that handle credit cards, in an effort to prevent data breaches and protect cardholders. With AI, companies can automatically enforce standardized privacy practices at scale.

Use AI in Data Security to Improve CX

Many standard practices help improve the customer experience – including 24/7 support and omnichannel capabilities that let customers pick up where they left off in any channel. As valuable as these capabilities are, customer privacy is an often overlooked part of CX. It's essential to gain the trust of your customer base, especially as you continue to invest in new technologies. Start exploring AI solutions today to improve the overall customer experience and better secure your customer data.

Discover how Interactions can improve your CX technology stack at interactions.com.

About the author

Andie Burjek

Andie Burjek is a writer based in Chicago and a regular contributor to CMSWire.