In Blog Articles, Phunware Data

As you may have gathered from the flurry of privacy policy notices likely hitting your inbox, the European Union has enacted a General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) that will apply across all EU countries starting May 25, 2018. Businesses of a certain size whose operations or customers touch the EU are required to update their data protection practices or face steep fines (as in, millions of dollars.)

In addition to establishing rules and expectations for businesses, GDPR codifies a set of rights for “data subjects”—i.e., you and me, the people whose personal data is used by Facebook and many other publishers, marketers and advertisers. This “Bill of Rights” for data subjects / people includes things like the right to access your data, the right to restrict data processing and even the right to be forgotten and have your data deleted.

Because Phunware is of a certain size and does business in the EU, we are required to update our policies and procedures to comply with GDPR. For us, however, going through the process of becoming GDPR-compliant was not just about avoiding fines. It was one step in a much larger data-focused strategic initiative that encompasses our policies, products and company culture—and that we hope will one day impact the way all consumer data is accessed, consumed and managed.

Here’s a look at what we’ve done for GDPR and how it fits into our strategic vision.

Data Protection at Phunware

Knowing that GDPR was on the horizon, our team began working towards GDPR compliance in the second half of 2017. We partnered with TrustArc, an industry leader in privacy compliance and risk management solutions, to proactively audit policies and procedures companywide and make recommendations to help us achieve compliance. As a result of that monumental integrated effort, all of our processes and systems will be GDPR compliant as scheduled.

Here are some examples of just a few of the changes we made through this process:

  • Created an extensive employee privacy training program and employee privacy pledge
  • Updated all relevant company policies and procedures to reflect GDPR priorities
  • Updated our existing and planned product capabilities to incorporate data subject rights
  • Created a Privacy Team focused on maintaining, enforcing and responding to user privacy needs and proactively updating privacy practices as regulations evolve
  • Contracted with a Data Protection Officer (DPO) to provide breadth and depth to our privacy expertise

To learn more about this initiative, visit https://www.phunware.com/trust.

Going Above and Beyond GDPR with PhunCoin

While complying with GDPR is important for obvious reasons, the spirit of the law is driving more than privacy policy updates. At its core, GDPR is about giving consumers the right to have a say in how—or whether—their data is stored, accessed and used.

At Phunware, this same core idea forms the foundation for PhunCoin, the cryptonetworking token we are preparing to launch later this year. And in addition to the right to know how your data is being used and the right to be forgotten, we believe you are entitled to an additional, very important right—the right to be compensated for the use of your data.

Blockchain technology makes direct microtransactions (like exchanging cryptocurrency for the use of individual data) possible and affordable. Built on blockchain, PhunCoin will enable consumers to be compensated for the use of their data by brands, publishers or marketers. PhunCoin tokens will be redeemable for digital goods and services within the PhunCoin publisher ecosystem, and users will be able to opt out of the use of their data at any time.

Maximum Value for the Entire Ecosystem

Digital business is growing up. We now have the technology and the systems in place to give brands and application developers access to the user data they need to deliver more personalized and more relevant experiences. And we can do it all while giving end users control of their personal data and fair compensation for its use.

We can’t wait to bring it to you.

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