Tuesday, April 16, 2024
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Building Trust with Compliance Detector

​Throughout the past year, privacy has been at the forefront of news headlines around the world. From Facebook to Google Glass, the National Security Agency to SharePoint, there is a constant balancing act to share information that we choose to share with whom we choose to share it, while simultaneously protecting information we wish to keep private. Information placed on the internet and available publicly can be used in unintended ways, regardless of your original intent. This is true for public sector organizations, businesses, and individuals alike. ​
More and more consumers have been subjected to identity theft, so much so that a new industry has cropped up to provide insurance against these kinds of concerns. At the same time, companies and government agencies around the world remain under constant threat of cyber-attack and potential theft of sensitive data … even exposure of highly sensitive data from once trusted employees, like Edward Snowden.

​The Indexed Web contains at least 50 billion pages … and counting. There is a vast amount of information available for consumption. Additionally, the Web is the way billions of people around the world communicate with each other and with their friends and colleagues – be it for work or for personal reasons. My blog post today is an example of that. Internet connection is increasingly taking more and more of a role in our everyday lives. This “always on” and “always connected” culture has led to a world in which information is shared constantly and regularly – oftentimes by design, but sometimes without intent.

​How many times have you used a Web site to buy something online, complete a form, conduct online banking, the list can go on and on. Did you ever wonder if your information was safe? If your information was stolen, how likely would you be to trust that company again? If you have a compliance issue on your Web site – the whole world knows!

​Beyond protecting systems from the criminals or hackers who intentionally steal our information, companies have an additional obligation to behave as good corporate citizens. This includes not only making sure that their Web sites are available to everyone who should have access, regardless of any disability, but also communicating clearly with their customers and visitors about how they will use, store, and protect customer information. Web sites also serve as the front door and life blood for many companies (like Amazon.com). For some businesses with no traditional, “brick and mortar” presence, their Web sites may be the consumer’s only experience with their brand. A high-quality experience for that Web site visitor must be one that not only reflects the brand through a well-designed and properly branded site, but also one that encourages the visitor’s trust and confidence in the brand … so that ultimately that visitor turns into a customer.

​Companies have a difficult job when it comes to maintaining their Web sites. They must ensure the information they’re collecting is protected, yet also ensure that the Web site is accessible to a growing community of individuals who have a legal disability that may impact their ability to use one. According to the United Nations, this community consists of almost one in ten people worldwide, or approximately 650 million people … and counting. How can Web site designers ensure that their customers can easily and access and use their Web sites, while maintaining site quality, brand, and privacy controls?

​AvePoint has introduced Compliance Detector, an educational testing tool that can be used for developers to improve the compliance of the content they are building and to learn about the importance of incorporating site quality, privacy, and accessibility by design as part of their development efforts. This is a good starting place to help web designers understand some of the issues they may have on their pages. ​
​Just as risk touches everyone, so does Compliance Detector. The tool can be used by consumers to educate themselves about the Web sites and “brands” that they frequent, looking before they leap into a Web site to validate if their favorite online store has an up-to-date privacy policy, if they are using technologies that record your every move, and if their Web site is fully accessible.

​Compliance Detector is powered by our commercial solution, AvePoint Compliance Guardian. In Compliance Guardian, we have full support for worldwide privacy, accessibility, and information security standards, and checks can be customized based on company specific policies and practices. For our enterprise customers, Compliance Guardian is a key system to enable collaboration with confidence at the major gateways to collaboration, be it with employees, partners, vendors, or customers – file shares, Microsoft SharePoint, social technologies, and Web sites. ​
​Trust is something that businesses must work to establish with their customers every day. Once lost, it is very difficult to regain. While no automated testing tool can ensure that a Web site is fully compliant, Compliance Detector has helped to raise the bar through education and awareness, marking a monumental step forward toward educating developers and consumers alike on site quality, accessibility, and privacy best practices. ​
​Consumers have the power to applaud companies that provide proper attention to these matters on their Web sites in several ways – including their purchasing power as well as support through positive reviews, via word-of-mouth or even posted online. At the end of the day, if consumers make accessibility, usability, and protection of their private information a priority, then the companies competing for their dollars and their loyalties will do so as well! With Compliance Detector, we take a small but important step to help our customers – enterprise businesses, government agencies, and consumers alike – down that road.

Dr. Tianyi Jiang (TJ) co-founded AvePoint in 2001 and has served as the organization's Chief Executive Officer since 2005. TJ is responsible for overall strategy and direction of AvePoint, which includes product innovation, investor relations, and business development. He is focused on delivering value to customers, partners, shareholders, and the AvePoint team, every day. A recipient of Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year award in New Jersey in 2010, TJ received both B.S. and master’s in electrical and computer engineering from Cornell University, and a Master of Philosophy and PhD in Data Mining from Department of Information Systems, Operations Management, and Statistics, Stern School of Business, New York University.


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