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Responsible and ethical use of emerging technology
Emerging technologies such as digital interfaces and data analytics tools are rapidly transforming the financial services industry. These innovative technologies help financial services companies to reach more customers and meet them on their own terms. In fact, these tools have been a necessity in the pandemic world. Deployment of such new technologies, however, requires a careful consideration of risks. With customers’ financial interest and trust at the forefront, companies must be mindful of the complexity of emerging risks. The pace of change is rapid, and regulations are constantly evolving. While consumers expect ease of doing business, they are also increasingly concerned about data and privacy issues. Compliance & Ethics professionals are constantly challenged with balancing risk and innovation. Nevertheless, they can also act as enablers and catalysts by focusing on the responsible and ethical use of emerging technology. In this paper, we introduce readers to the tenets of responsible and ethical use of technology and data; namely, technology should be purposeful, humanistic, ethical and should work for all consumers. We then provide practical ideas and insights to create compliance programmes aimed at business owners, consumers and employees. These programmes include digital risk assessments, digital upskilling, digital and data compliance programmes and data ethics principles.
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Srividhya Thiagarajan leads the new Digital and Data Compliance & Ethics Program within MassMutual’s Compliance & Ethics Department. This is an innovative and inclusive programme designed to address digital and data risks in an Agile manner, with a customer experience lens. Her team uses this programme for Compliance & Ethics reviews of new digital features, including website and mobile, as well as data science models. She is passionate about digital and data ethics and strives to raise awareness on this topic both within and outside MassMutual. She stands for Digital Equity and volunteers with organisations that are helping bridge the digital divide for women and communities of colour. Prior to her current role, she held a number of other roles with Prudential, Bank of America, Citicorp and Standard Chartered Bank through her 20-year career. She graduated with an MBA from Pondicherry University, India, and went on to do her Masters in Banking and Finance from Monash University, Melbourne, Australia. She has lived and worked in several countries across four different continents and believes she is a citizen of the world. She loves to dabble in art and has exhibited her paintings in galleries in Connecticut. She also serves in the committee of St. James School, Manchester, Connecticut. Srividhya and her family live in Ellington, Connecticut.
Alethea O’Donnell leads the Corporate Compliance team within MassMutual’s Compliance & Ethics Department. The team is responsible for a variety of core compliance functions, including reporting, training, the code of conduct, the company whistleblower hotline, company policies and the compliance risk assessment. Prior to her current role, she held a number of other roles within Compliance & Ethics, including heading the Strategy & Shared Services and Customer Relations teams. She has her FINRA Series 7 and 24 and also obtained the Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialist (CAMS) designation. She has published papers on a number of legal and compliance and ethics topics. She has been with MassMutual for over 15 years, starting in the Law Division as an employment and claims litigator. She went to Mount Holyoke College in South Hadley, Massachusetts, and attended law school at Boston College, where she was the managing editor of the Boston College Environmental Affairs Law Review. She worked in private practice in Boston after graduating from law school. She and her family live in Amherst, Massachusetts