Saturday, 27 February 2021

Protect All Customer Data – Not Credit Card Numbers Alone

On Thursday, I will speak on a panel at the Electronic Transaction Association’s FinTech Policy Day at the Newseum in Washington, D.C. This event will feature industry experts, Congress members and regulators, who will discuss how developing technology and public policy can work together. Topics will include privacy, data protection and mobile technology.


My message will be simple: As the retail industry transforms with the newest tools offered by the internet of things, retailers must design security into the data – not just into the devices. Data should be protected from initial acceptance, through transit to the data center and while in storage.

As retailers deploy IoT solutions to provide a personalized experience, they are gathering more data about consumers. As an example, a consumer may join their favorite retailer’s loyalty program. That decision allows the retailer to see the shopper’s purchase history and recommend complimentary products.

I will be joined on Thursday’s panel by Jeff Zubricki, Wal-Mart’s director of global public policy. For both of our companies, this is big business – with real-life costs for consumers, retailers and the federal government. Three examples spell out the risks:

  • In 2015, 13.1 million Americans fell victim to identity theft, according to Javelin Research. Typically it takes a consumer six months and $4,000 to clear the errors from their credit record.
  • Costs escalate as data are used to file erroneous tax returns. Last year, the IRS paid out $21 billion in false tax returns.
  • Consumers are not alone fraud victims. Recent studies find that merchants bear a heavy cost. Counterfeit credit card fraud expenses have increased dramatically among large U.S. merchants that have not yet fully migrated to cards with security chips.

Intel, working with its ecosystem partners, is uniquely situated to build the foundation to protect consumer data in retail, banking or hospitality settings. Intel Data Protection Technologies enable retailers to encrypt data at the source and to protect it as it flows through the point of sale – both fixed and mobile – and the network to a bank or corporate data center for further use.

This is just one example of how Intel’s Retail Solutions Division is enabling IoT to securely flourish in retail. With Intel’s help, shoppers will be able to have a great personalized shopping experiences with an increased level of security.


Michelle Tinsley is director of mobility and secure payment in the retail solutions division of Intel Corporation’s Internet of Things Group.