....continued from the previous blog – Corporate Digital Responsibility
How do we define CDR – Corporate Digital Responsibility?
In simple words, CDR – Corporate Digital Responsibility can be defined as ‘the norms of appropriate and responsible corporate behaviour that ensures a positive Societal Impact with regard to digital data management and related technology use’.
How is Corporate Digital Responsibility different from Corporate Social Responsibility?
Corporate Digital Responsibility or CDR for short, entails companies to behave in a socially responsible manner but limits its focus to managing and handling Digital Data and related technology use only. Unlike the CSR where the main customer for the corporate is the Society that they thrive in, CDR has two customers, one external and the other internal. The external customer being the actual clients, the vendors, suppliers, dealers and distributors associated with the corporation whose data is resting within the corporate possession. The internal customers are the employees of the company who have access to the corporate data and not limited to the client related data alone.
The Need for CDR – Corporate Digital Responsibility
Extreme dependencies of corporations on Digital Media has created vulnerabilities which if not addressed at the right time can prove fatal for both the organization and their associates. Today, Digitization has made it possible to get rid of the bulky and tedious paper format of the data by storing it an electronic format. However, getting them stored in an electronic format has its own issues, like data loss due to malfunctioning of the device or storing on multiple devices with one or the other device connected to the internet posing a security threat due to data hacks, etc.
These days most of the transactions are done electronically, Financial transactions are done electronically, communications are passed electronically in the form of emails, audios and visuals, even the household devices such as refrigerators, Air Conditioners and even door locks are getting smart and networked with each other. All is well with smart devices until it is working well but if tampered with ill intentions, the same smart devices or data can be used for malicious purposes. In India, we do have regulations like the Information Technology Act of India 2000 and Cyber Law of India but none of these addresses the need for a corporations to be vocal with their customers and all the concerned towards demonstrating the responsibilities they own towards the digital media and its related technology use. More importantly these laws are focussed towards a particular sect of the companies such as IT related Companies alone and does not cover the others such as Finance, Manufacturing, Engineering, etc. Where in, the fact is that all the companies today irrespective of their nature of business are using digital media in all its forms for their day to day functioning.
Considering the corporate community to be the biggest consumer of Digital Media in all its forms, it’s time to start thinking about defining voluntary governing policies around the use of Digital Media and its related technologies and thereby demonstrating Corporate Digital Responsibility – CDR.
Let’s take for example a bank in order to understand the need better. A bank can participate in many CSR activities such as adopting government schools and take care of their requirements & infrastructure, building & maintaining public toilets or setting up of clinics and make shift hospitals in the down trodden areas. All these are activities that are focussed on contributing to the society without any expectation or financial gains from them. These activities are considered as a responsibility from the corporations who are making profits from the society to contribute a minor percentage of their funds towards the up keeping of the society they strive in and therefore termed as CDR – Corporate Social Responsibility.
Instead of sharing information about data security on multiple documents given the different circumstances and examples and situations, what a bank should do is come up with one single document called the ‘Corporate Digital Responsibility’. This document will reveal as to what does digital data mean to the corporation and what it is doing to safe guard the interests of all the concerned, both the internal and the external customers. This should be made available to the all the concerned in both a soft copy and a hard copy to go through. It is about time that we start dealing with digital data with all the respect it deserves as the dependency on Digital Media is going to increase by every day and never will decrease.
to be continued....
What to expect in the next Blog?
Functions of CDR – Corporate Digital Responsibility