March Madness for Business: How to Manage Privacy in the Face of Game Changers like ChatGBT and Kroger Data

The end of the first quarter of 2023 is rapidly approaching, and in this short span of time many things have already created big changes in and around the privacy world. The swift and powerful emergence of AI programs like ChatGPT is looking to be one of the most impactful, and what many of us know and love about basketball can motivate our privacy-aware implementation of it to help business thrive. 

How can watching March Madness help improve business leaders’ change management skills? 

The NCAA Basketball Tournament has affectionately deemed the month of March as “March Madness”. For collegiate basketball fans, just after “Selection Sunday” the anticipation for every facet of the “madness”—the NCAA Collegiate Basketball Tournament—awaits. Every tournament game will exhibit at least one play or player who will be known even after as a “game changer”—someone or something that can spark new concepts, inspire the desire for—and acceptance of—change, and create the change itself.  

The “March Madness” is an unexpected balance of momentum changes and unplannable factors that change the outcome of the game and the overall tournament.  How a momentum shift is handled by players and coaches alike determine the success of said team’s journey to the Final Four.  

What are change management skills? 

Change management skills are the ability to manage changes for business growth, and to minimize disruption, which includes planning and managing organizational structures, processes, and personnel changes.  The best change management strategies include thoughtful planning, transparency and honesty, communication, and employee participation. 

Change is going to occur regardless of if it’s expected or unanticipated. How that change is managed can determine if successful results are obtained.  Some of the most important skills required to handle change in your organization are:  

  • Communication 
  • Strategic Thinking 
  • Leadership 
Why is it essential for professionals to acquire change management skills? 

ChatGPT could most definitely be considered a game changer in the privacy world. Artificial intelligence (AI) has changed the approach to privacy in a myriad ways, and ChatGPT just amplified the speed of its evolution – a momentum shift that honestly has the privacy world scrambling to find ways to deal with the change.   

Over the course of two months since its release, ChatGPT has reached 100 million active users, making it the fastest-growing consumer application ever launched.  The spectators of this application rave about it and consider it a thrilling and valuable piece of software to add to the repertoire—while those who are most focused on the fundamental rights of privacy look ahead to the potential consequences of privacy violations created by the unauthorized use of individuals’ personal data used to fuel the AI.   

What type of conversations have you held with your employees as executive level management around ChatGPT and privacy and confidentiality?  ChatGPT learns from every conversation, and if an employee shares confidential information when having a conversation with ChatGPT, what is the recourse? 

The question you may also want to ask when presented with exciting new advancements like this is not if you can use it, but should you? Is what it can offer you worth the time and energy it will take to shore up your privacy practices around it? The answer may very well be a resounding,”Yes!” — after all, this technology can be very useful in the business world. If that is the case, be mindful when you adopt it that it is concurrently necessary to prioritize privacy and educating your employees on how to maintain it in order to evolve along with new tech adoption.  

Another game changer raising potential privacy concerns:

Kroger and its ecosystem of customer’s data collected for their loyalty card could be be considered a game changer of personal data usage, but not for the better. Jon Keegan, an investigative data journalist, shares in his piece “Forget Milk and Eggs: Supermarkets Are Having a Fire Sale on Data About You” that Kroger’s privacy policy states that the company will “only collect information when needed for a particular purpose.” 

For that vague “particular purpose”, some of the information Kroger may collect depending on the specific customer are: 

  • Personal information 
  • Purchase history 
  • Location 
  • Financial and payment information 
  • Health-related information 
  • Mobile device data 
  • Demographic data 
  • Biometric data 
  • Behavioral inferences 

Keegan’s article indicates that Kroger was able to establish its own data science firm called 84.51 after purchasing a majority stake in a Dunnhumby’s U.S. operations. Kroger places its emphasis on sharing “de-identified” data on shoppers. As privacy professionals, we know that “de-identified” has a strong probability of being re-identified. Jon’s article reveals that a markup analysis of browsing and shopping for a pregnancy test on Kroger.com showed that searching for the product, viewing an individual product page, and adding the item to the cart all activated trackers that transmitted the product name and a user ID to Meta, Google, Pinterest, Snapchat, and Bing, among other companies. 

Chat GPT and Kroger’s 84.51 are both game changers when it comes to privacy, and time will tell how these both play out, in ways both good and bad. What we can be sure of even as we face an uncertain future is that variations of systems and processes that have a large impact your organization’s duty to function call for the recruit of the right team additions to develop a strategic plan.  

In the world of sports, the game changers can and do impact the way the game is played. However, it’s up to the coaching staff to develop a strategy to minimize the impact and achieve success. When you bring in Kuma experts as a part of your team, our unique approach to reimagining privacy will help you to develop a privacy strategy and program development that will achieve your goals and ensure you always come out on top. If you’re ready to level up, reach out to start a conversation with one of our passionate privacy professionals today.  

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