TUESDAY 20 JUL 2021 3:35 PM


Strategic communications agency, Allegory, has launched a report highlighting the urgent need for organisations to act on Corporate Digital Responsibility (CDR) related issues, and how they can build an actionable framework to do so.

Corporate Digital Responsibility is a broad set of responsibilities relating to the application and management of data and digital technologies. This has emerged as a critical risk issue for organisational boards following high profile failures in data and digital governance, regulatory issues and data breaches.

This includes the Post Office Horizon Scandal and the misuse of personal data like the facial recognition system, which was removed from London King’s Cross in 2019, after public protests and privacy campaigns.

The Allegory report reveals that an organisation’s board of directors are responsible for the management of data and digital risk, and underestimating the threat could lead to a significant reputational issue, which ultimately affects profit.

The rate of digital transformation is outpacing data privacy systems, and organisations must therefore make data governance a priority at board level. Regulation in terms of consumer data is also becoming more stringent, with many companies’ failing to keep up and comply with regulation.

Charlotte McLeod, chief executive officer at Allegory, says, “Data and digital must work for everyone in society and be used responsibly as they are considered to be powerful strategic business assets that can generate growth and trigger innovation. But, they both need to be governed by principles in order for organisations to create the most value.”

Much like CSR and ESG agenda, CDR must be on organisation’s priority as it promotes awareness and understanding of ethical responsibility in terms of data. A multi-stakeholder approach, led by management and communicators is most effective at addressing CDR in order to increase stakeholder’s trust and market share.

Allegory are encouraging organisations to develop a framework underpinned by ethics in order to begin their CDR journey. Ethical values are fundamental to this framework and board level leadership teams must spend time navigating data ethics to assess potential issues ahead.

“Communications professionals too have a pivotal role to play in the process of making organisations CDR-fit. To do so, they need to be fully immersed in the issues surrounding data management and processing in their organisations to offer the best professional advice and support possible,” says McLeod.

Comms professionals often step in when a crisis arises, but building a preventative framework to address data and digital issues within an organisation in collaboration with C-suite executives, is of the greatest value. “This is a collective action needed to future-proof an organisation, safeguarding its reputation and profits,” says McLeod.

The Allegory report is a reflection of the collective discussion between a panel of experts across sectors and expertise discussing the emerging issues around CDR in April 2021.

Access the Corporate Digital Responsibility: What You Need To Know Right Now report here.