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Uday Kotak flags concerns over privacy & security in digital world


Mumbai, July 15:Ace banker Uday Kotak has flagged concerns over privacy and security of the consumer across various sectors in the fast-growing digital world.

“As we go down this path of very quick adoption of digital technologies particularly from a consumer point of view, what is going to happen to privacy ?” he noted at an event here late last evening.

Thinking about the consumer particularly in the business of risk and trust, two extremely important points of the disruption are privacy and security, Kotak said.

He said every time a consumer uses a popular map application, there is someone who has access to key data like where we are, what we are doing and life patterns of consumers.

“We are assuming it is safe because people out there will not misuse it. The whole issue of privacy and trust and security around the consumer is an important part of this,” Kotak said.

Kotak, the executive vice chairman and managing director of Kotak Mahindra Bank, compared the situation to James Bond movies.

“It reminds me of the many James Bond movies we would have seen over the time, where the devil really is a master of technology,” he said.

Kotak hinted that the onslaught of digital disruptions is also challenging the way banking is done.

“As a banker, when I sleep at night, I worry about whether I’ll have a bank next morning, will there be an Ali Bank or a Flipkart bank or some other bank doing business what we do,” he quipped.

He also wondered about the business model of emerging internet companies like WhatsApp, saying he is yet to understand it and may be in the future such companies will make money.

“In telecom, SMS is dead and there is Whatsapp. But I can’t figure out what is the business model of WhatsApp,” he said, adding that companies like it and others like Facebook and Twitter are first creating the user base to make money later.

“This long tail model has a phenomenal theory which has three parts — keep on getting user, get them to use more and only after that think about making money. That is the Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp model,” he said, acknowledging that it’s difficult for traditional businesses to comprehend this.

He was speaking at the launch of McKinsey Global Institute’s book ‘No Ordinary Disruption’, which deals with four big changes that are sweeping the world, including rise of emerging markets, accelerating impact of technology on the natural forces of market competition, an ageing world population, and accelerating flows of trade capital and people.

Kotak also expressed concerns about job creation in a digital world which is driven by technology disruptions.


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