Given the growing importance of data and data-based technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) in the transformation of the financial services industry and larger economy, developing and codifying data ethic principles that go beyond compliance to protect and handle individual customer data is crucial.
Accordingly, the Institute of International Finance developed—with inputs and practical insights from chief data officers and other experts from within our membership across the globe—a Data Ethics Charter (DEC) outlining a set of principles for the ethical handling of customer data. The Charter articulates the strong practices from across the industry, which all participants in the financial ecosystem, including new entrants and partners should emulate.
The principles-based Charter is intended to be adaptable to fit the evolving policy environment to which IIF membership holds itself. It serves to complement (and not replace) national and sub-national legislation and regulations, as well as international standards.
The Charter does not have binding or legal status, and the IIF does not propose to “police” the principles. However, we encourage all financial sector participants to consider them. Moreover, as the use of customer data and algorithms extends beyond financial services, we invite stakeholders across all industries to incorporate data ethics practices into their activities.
Finally, the DEC also intends to help customers better understand their role through the evolving landscape of data usage in a straightforward manner. Principles and examples of practice provide customers with an overview of how financial institutions responsibly manage, protect, share, and use customer data.