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I was fortunate enough to spend the whole month of June working out of our Tokyo office at the same time the 2019 G20 Osaka summit was taking place. It was an interesting event, and one of the main topics that caught my attention was the “Osaka Track,” or an initiative for a regime of “Data Free Flow with Trust” made with the intention for member countries to adopt a new approach to data governance.

The introduction of such a data governance method seemed to put an emphasis on enabling the free flow of medical, industrial, and other types of useful data which may be non-personal or anonymized without borders.
data migration

Interest in Data Governance Is on the Rise

As an individual, I do see the benefit of the “Osaka Track” initiative. In the last 10 years we’ve seen organizations put more stress on data governance, privacy, security, and cybersecurity initiatives. Europe is dedicated to the introduction of the EU-GDPR as a privacy regime that describes the cross-border data transfer of personal data, which on its own can be a threat that organizations need to be ready to manage appropriately.

Countries like Australia, Singapore, China, South Africa, and many others showed agreement with the concept that “data is the new gold of the 21st century” by introducing new rules within their data protection and cybersecurity laws.

Coming from Australia, it was quite welcoming to see the introduction of the new Mandatory Breach Notification Scheme that the Australian Government put in place last year. The scheme had a tremendous impact on organizations that had data breach exposure, and the core benefit from the scheme was a 712% increase in notifications since its introduction.

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Data Governance is Essential to Data Security

With the introduction of the EU-GDPR, we saw that companies have a lot of questions regarding the possible adverse effects on their businesses, especially when it comes to not being able to transfer data from their own overseas subsidiaries. At the same time, we keep seeing that data breaches are on the rise—a major concern for every organization. A few examples:

  • Just last month, health insurance company Premera Blue Cross has agreed to a $72 million deal that would help resolve a long-running class action lawsuit for a data breach that happened in 2014.
  • The medical bill collection firm Retrieval-Masters Creditors Bureau Inc. has also recently filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection citing the fallout from a massive data breach that exposed the information of millions of patients.
  • As for Japan, at least 2.68 million pieces of personal information held by over 100 Japanese entities were subject to unauthorized disclosures in 2018.

Data Governance and the Osaka Track: Bringing Trust to a Better Level

These data breaches correlate with the need for better data governance and data security controls. The EU-GDPR has several articles pointing out prerequisites for a better risk management and governance model such as running impact assessments for any high-risk processing activity. Adopting a privacy and security-by-design philosophy from the very beginning of a project helps companies to understand potential risks and data breaches before they happen, as well as before an idea is implemented as a process or a product into an organization.
Need help getting these new data governance changes in place? Learn how AvePoint’s experts can help your company upgrade its data management and protection plan!


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