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Intro Guide: Data Privacy and Security for Streaming Video Analytics Tools

Data privacy and security are — or should be — major areas of concern for those considering a streaming video analytics platform. 

Online video services have many good reasons to use a streaming video analytics tool to run their platform. But the benefits can quickly be outweighed by the problems that may arise with choosing a tool that does not meet the highest data security standards and government regulations.

From who owns your information to how customer data is stored and accessed, there are many things to contemplate when shopping for a streaming video analytics solution. Here are the main ones.

Transparency and clear data ownership


The first point to keep in mind when choosing an analytics provider is how open the company is about its data collection, storing, and processing process. Transparency is important in any purchasing decision, but even more so when it comes to personal data.

You should look for a streaming video analytics tool that precisely outlines how your viewers’ and platform’s personal information is handled. The provider should disclose, among other things, whether customer data is anonymized and how, if it relies on a hybrid cloud infrastructure to protect the most sensitive segments of data, and how the data is encrypted.

It should also be very clear who owns the data and any insights derived from it. Ideally, you should opt for an analytics provider that protects your data ownership and makes it easy for you to take your data off its platform at any time. An analytics tool that is implemented via an API that enables you to reclaim your data without extra costs is an optimal solution in this regard.

Knowing where your data is stored and processed is also critical in a climate of tightening data privacy regulations. GDPR, for example, requires any EU customer data taken out of Europe to be handled with the same privacy standards outlined in this EU regulation. That is something you will want to pay close attention to depending on where your streaming service is based and operates.

 

Third-party interferences


Another aspect to factor in when evaluating the data privacy and security levels of a streaming video analytics solution is whether or not the provider relies on third-party companies and tools to deliver on their promises. 

This is often the case in a complex space such as video streaming. Companies with different niches of expertise tend to partner to complement their capabilities and reach deeper, more useful analytics insights. But, no matter how common these integrations might be, you still need to ensure they do not compromise in any way your data.

Yet, it’s not only third-party companies that you should worry about. Government interference is a real issue in certain regions — and we are not talking just about autocratic countries. 

Just recently, an Austrian court ruled the use of Google Analytics is in breach of GDPR because, like any other US company, Google could be required to share customer data with the country’s intelligence services should these request it. Other EU countries are expected to deliver similar rulings in the coming months.

 

Industry-recognized certifications


One simple way of making sure that a particular streaming video analytics solution fulfills all the proper data security requirements is to seek vendors holding industry-standard certifications.

For instance, ISO 27001 — for which NPAW is certified — is one of the most widely recognized security standards for information security management systems that handle third-party data. 

Obtaining an ISO 27001 certification is a complex process that involves an exhaustive examination of a provider’s security procedures by independent auditors. As such, it guarantees the vendor’s commitment to the latest data security best practices and provides objective validation of its system’s integrity.

Another certification to be on the lookout for is ISO 27701, an extension to ISO 27001 focusing on data privacy management and best practices. NPAW is currently in the process of being certified for this standard.

 

Control over data access and management


Lastly, and as the cherry on the cake, you should prioritize a streaming video analytics solution that offers additional features to control who can access and manipulate your data. 

Working with video streaming and audience data can get very complex, and it often ends up involving teams or collaborators who don’t necessarily have the clearance to view certain types of information — especially when it comes to personal data. 

That’s why GDPR requires information management systems to offer their customers the option to obfuscate or delete personal user information as needed. That process is often handled manually, with the customer having to request these changes to the provider.  

A streaming video analytics platform like the NPAW Suite goes one step further, integrating features you to easily create and automatically apply custom data privacy rules to comply with GDPR.