Nalen Naidoo, divisional executive for retail solutions at Liberty. Picture: SUPPLIED
Nalen Naidoo, divisional executive for retail solutions at Liberty. Picture: SUPPLIED

In this edition of Business Day Spotlight, our focus is on the question of who owns your data. Our host Mudiwa Gavaza is joined by Nalen Naidoo, divisional executive for retail solutions at Liberty, one of the country’s largest financial services and insurance companies.

In this discussion, data protection, privacy and intellectual property are all on the table.

A tug-of-war has been brewing between two of the country’s largest insurers, Liberty and Discovery, over accusations that Liberty has infringed Vitality’s copyrights, while the Standard Bank-owned insurer has said it is just a ploy to limit competition.

Liberty introduced a wellness bonus for customers to add on to their lifestyle protector risk products in May. Clients get a cashback benefit after five years. But the insurer did not create a wellness programme of its own, instead, uses the wellness status from whatever programme their clients are on to reward them.

Naidoo explains that Liberty constructed its wellness bonus benefit the way it did because in its research clients had indicated that they did not want to be boxed into another rewards programme. Instead, they wanted the insurer to reward them based on their available health information.

The discussion spends about time on this case and about of the complexities brought to light through and gaps in current legislation about these issues.

He explains the data transfer and transaction that has taken place in the insurance industry for years. A person gives over information about themselves to insurers, who then, based on that data, can provide a personalised product that covers that individual.

But what happens when it comes to wellness programmes and the progress made on those?

Naidoo goes on to raise questions about everyday instances where data is being exchanged as the price of admission — in building or office complexes as part of security, or in joining one of the world’s now ubiquitous social media platforms such as  Facebook or Instagram.

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Business Day Spotlight is a MultimediaLIVE Production.