Data Privacy is No Joke, But What’s the Punchline?

With the EUs release of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), data privacy measures – at a global scale- are stronger than ever. TDLR: The GDPR mandates that any company that would have access to the personal data of a European citizen or conduct business in the EU has to comply.

What does that mean for companies in the US? The potential for fines as high as 4% of their global turnover. American Airlines and Marriott International are two companies receiving notably hefty fines. Google has also been found guilty and found by France’s watchdog group.

“Regardless of your industry, an end-to-end approach is critical.”


As data privacy regulation continues to increase, becoming compliant will only become more important more difficult. It’s not all bad news though – research shows that although data privacy is receiving a crackdown it is not greatly impacting the data industry.

However, as the United States government continues to leave regulation of data privacy at the state level, the regulatory environment of the US will continue to become a complicated maze to manage and navigate for companies hoping to operate across the country. If it was said that the CCPA was a harsh data law, New York’s new regulation currently making its way through the office will put it to shame. So where does that leave an individual interested in maintaining their data privacy?

Block chain continues to be an option for de-centralizing data stores and leaving the power of protection in the hands of the individual rather than a business or multitude of businesses. Encrypted files stored on a singular device would allow users to protect themselves and control the flow of their personal data to third parties. As data centers and large-scale storage of bio-metric data, personal identification data, and passwords continue to stockpile data, they become the targets of hackers and thieves.

One such breach of privacy protection has left a European security company in hot water, with many others scrambling to plug their holes and protect themselves.

It’s easy to change a password, encrypt a file, and store personal data centrally, especially in comparison to the other option: get a new face, and a new fingerprint every time your data is stolen. Wait, can you do that?

Data protection regulations are not going to lessen any time soon, in fact it is sure to continuously increase as the rise of faster computation, AI, and the growing connectivity of other devices plugged into the sphere create new threats around every corner.


Companies are still not compliant with GDPR, but they should be soon before it becomes more difficult to become compliant.

Google is working to protect themselves from potential data privacy issues after their fines from France, most recently.

Major breach in bio-metrics and personal identification data for a European country that runs security for companies worldwide.

Decentralizing data and using blockchain to encrypt singularly held data could lead to less data theft and fraud.

American Airlines and Marriott International are two of the first companies fined under GDPR.

New York’s Data Privacy Law and the Legal Environment of the US

Data privacy laws have not killed marketing and technology companies, yet.

100 Companies to be Looking Out for in Digital Health

“At the gateway of the transformation of the global healthcare industry by digital technology players, the market is extremely volatile. Start-ups show up, promise to disrupt the entire health scene, but go down just as fast having not received the necessary funding. Others change their
profiles, partner with big pharma companies or lose the battle with another start-up providing a better technology. In addition, there is the issue of hype, buzzwords and over marketing, which calls for careful consideration. In spite of all the challenges, The Medical Futurist team
is working tirelessly to stay ahead of the turbulent market changes and bring you the list of the top 100 companies every year.

This year, we posed the question not just what the features are to gain ground on a turbulent market, but what the key is for a company to remain a significant player for a longer time, and we found that if a venture, start-up, or enterprise comes up with a solution that addresses a real-
world need, it will definitely find its place on the digital health market for many years. Of course, ‘real-world need’ is a fairly broad category, but it basically means touching upon a patient need or a healthcare issue that has not been solved before in any other way.” Read on in the below PDF for more information!

Customer Empathy in Rapid Test & Learn

In our quick-consumption, technology-driven society, how can companies differentiate themselves from the buzz? How can they provide the most benefit to customers and earn their loyalty?

Most companies approach product development from the lens of “what.” What should the product do, what will it take for it to deliver on that promise, what should it sell for, and what will compel a consumer to purchase it?

But, many companies fail to ask the “why” and “how” questions. Why would a customer want to purchase one product over another, how do customers approach making purchasing decisions, and as they engage with the product, how do they feel about it? Asking these kinds of questions gets to a very key part of successful product development – customer empathy.

Merriam Webster dictionary defines empathy as “the action of understanding, being aware of, being sensitive to, and vicariously experiencing the feelings, thoughts, and experience of another.” So, customer empathy is the ability to understand and be aware of the customer’s experience.

Customer empathy research goes beyond the product development or improvement, and looks into the customer’s day to day interaction with the technology, and their perceptions around it.

While product development research leads to developing the best understanding of what the tech is capable of, and how it works, customer empathy research can tell a company if the innovative tech they’re developing is what the customer wants. If you forget to keep the end-user in mind, their wants and needs may not be fulfilled by the end-product.

As companies race to market, take shortcuts in product development, and leave the consumer’s best interest and desires behind in the dust they lose out on valuable insights along the way. Statistical significance is not necessary to pivot quickly during product development, and by including customer empathy research along the way, companies are still able to keep the consumer driving the train. Rapid, small-group testing that provides enough insight to have an idea for where to go next without the sacrifice of precious weeks in the development stage, is crucial.

Rapid test and learn strategies aka the lean startup mentality keeps testing to small participant panels of 5-7 individuals, short time-frame sprints, and focuses on the customer experience, their behaviors and how can a product or service impact existing behaviors to bring out the desired results.

While testing of this variety will rarely ever achieve efficacy, it can provide valuable observations on the desirability and perception of continued use. If a participant is early into the use of product and are already losing interest, then a product is not achieving its desired benefits and it’s back to the drawing board.

Customer empathy is the best indicator of long-term success of a product or service, and by keeping the customer at the heart of product development companies can ensure higher adoption rates, better reviews, and customer loyalty.

If a customer perceives that a technology is going to deliver on its promises, rest assured you have kept them in mind. Don’t forget about your customers along the way, and when you get to the end you’ll have a product they’ll love.

What is Lean Startup?

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The Lean Startup Model

Lean startup is the process that embodies the “pivot or die” mentality that leads to rapid iteration around the development of a product or service. Rather than testing a polished, finished product lean testing focuses on getting fast feedback and implementing the necessary small changes before testing again, and wash, rinse, repeat. Paired with customer empathy at the helm of the ship, lean startup methodology leads to a quick to market strategy with a viable, desirable product or service.