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Concerned about Privacy while Piloting AI in Your Contact Center? Here’s How to Keep Data Safe

  

Are you thinking about incorporating AI and automation into your contact center for the first time? If so, you likely have a lot of questions—not only about how the technology can benefit your center’s operations, but also about any risks, particularly to your customers’ privacy. But if you know what to look for in a vendor, as well as the steps you can take to mitigate security risks, you can move confidently into this new AI-powered chapter of customer service operations.  

First, let’s take a look at the main privacy concerns around piloting AI technology in your contact center, and then we’ll identify some of the most important security measures and protections to discuss with any potential AI technology partner.

Privacy Concern: Data Leaks

Why it’s a concern: When it comes to data security and privacy, the potential for data leaks is at the top of the list of concerns. This is especially true for highly regulated industries such as banking and finance, which deal with particularly sensitive information. But any company that deals with personal identifiable information (PII) would be profoundly impacted by a breach. There may be fines, and the company would have a responsibility to notify customers of the incident if their PII was involved. Understandably, companies are concerned that AI could put their customers’ data at risk.

How to address it: First, it’s important to understand the scope of the pilot. Ask your AI partner if access to PII or databases is required, and if so, how it will be used and what measures are in place to protect the data. For example, most of Laivly’s AI solutions are hands-off as far as PII, meaning PII and credit card information is never touched, transmitted, collected, or stored on our servers or within the Laivly platform. However, with the introduction of more autonomous solutions, such as Laivly’s Digital Worker, this information is visible to the AI in the same way it would be to an agent. Data sanitization—that is, the process of intentionally and permanently deleting or destroying any PII or sensitive data—is key here. Your organization should apply the same data sanitization process that it uses on an agent workstation to the AI tool, as well. That way, any information stored will be sanitized and free of any sensitive or identifying information. 

Privacy Concern: AI Policy Compliance 

Why it’s a concern: Companies looking to incorporate new technology must consider AI compliance laws. But there’s a catch: These laws don’t exist yet. This puts both businesses and tech vendors in a bit of an awkward position, because any statements or language about AI policy compliance would simply be guesswork, or theoretical, without legally binding laws and guidelines. 

How to address it: To protect your brand and your customers, the best thing to do is to monitor any legal developments in AI privacy compliance and stay aware of any new laws. Choosing a trustworthy technology partner and maintaining a strong relationship with them will also help. Keeping an open line of communication with your AI vendor means you can alert each other as laws develop and update your contract as necessary.

What should you look for in a potential AI tech partner?

When looking to add AI to your contact center, it’s vital to choose a tech provider that can deliver solutions to the challenges you want addressed. But it’s just as important to make sure they value and prioritize information security to protect your customers’ data and your brand’s reputation. When doing your research, find out about an AI partner’s policies on the following processes. 

Encryption and Authentication 

Encryption is one of the most important mechanisms put in place to protect PII and data. Before you start working with an AI company, you should ask their approach to encryption. Will their data be encrypted at rest? In transit? End to end? Is the tech provider storing anything for reasons other than historical purposes or analytics? 

Authentication also needs a closer look. There should be authentication every step of the way, whether endpoint authentication, hardware authentication, or usernames and passwords. In the same way access to resources should be authenticated, so should the environments where any PII is stored. This can be achieved through mechanisms such as firewalls. 

It’s also good to ask what happens to PII once it’s within the AI vendor’s parameters. The data should always be monitored for unusual activity, and in the event of anything suspicious, alerts should be generated and a robust incident response plan enacted.

Sanitization 

Ultimately it’s up to your business to decide where your comfort level lies with PII and sensitive data handling. For example, Laivly always sanitizes any PII we handle to protect client data. However, some companies will take steps to sanitize on their end as well for an extra layer of reassurance. As a general rule, if there is something that can be done on your end to protect your business, do it. There’s nothing wrong with redundancy when it comes to data security!

PCI Compliance

Every company will have its own standards, policies, and compliance requirements in place. Asking a company to familiarize you with their policies can help you decide if you’re comfortable with how they handle PII. One thing you should always check for in a tech partner is PCI compliance. This indicates the vendor has proactively and voluntarily met the requirements for the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS), a compliance framework considered the gold standard in protecting credit card data and other sensitive PII.   

Managing Privacy Concerns for Successful AI Implementation

Even though AI is a new and evolving chapter in the contact center industry, your brand should approach privacy and data concerns the same way it has for emerging tech of the past. Do your due diligence, research potential AI partners, use the technology thoughtfully and with intention, and put superior security measures in place—then open the door to the future with confidence and excitement.

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