Data Scientists Must Prioritize Client Confidentiality

Data Scientists Must Prioritize Client Confidentiality

Data Scientists Must Prioritize Client Confidentiality
Many organizations are reluctant to create data science teams (internally or externally) because of information confidentiality and privacy concerns.

It is dangerous to open the kimono to competition – disclosing high-value information about inner workings of the firm may cause significant damage.

There is real fear of exposing valuable confidential information to data scientists who may leave the firm and share key knowledge with competitors. Moreover, externally hired data scientists could potentially share critical information with their other clients who may be direct or indirect competitors.

One solution is hiring only data scientists who are governed by the Data Science Code of Professional Conduct and are required to maintain strict client confidentiality.

Rule 5 of the Data Science Association Code of Professional Conduct includes the following confidentiality provision:
Rule 5 – Confidential Information

(a) Confidential information is information that the data scientist creates, develops, receives, uses or learns in the course of employment as a data scientist for a client, either working directly in-house as an employee of an organization or as an independent professional.

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It includes information that is not generally known by the public about the client, including client affiliates, employees, customers or other parties with whom the client has a relationship and who have an expectation of confidentiality. The data scientist has a professional duty to protect all confidential information, regardless of its form or format, from the time of its creation or receipt until its authorized disposal.

(b) Confidential information is a valuable asset.

Protecting this information is critical to a data scientists reputation for integrity and relationship with clients, and ensures compliance with laws and regulations governing the client’s industry.

(c) A data scientist shall protect all confidential information, regardless of its form or format, from the time of its creation or receipt until its authorized disposal.

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