Looks like Facebook isn’t the only company having problems with privacy issues.  A new study released by Telsyte, one of Australia’s leading technology analyst firms has revealed that many Aussie organisations are struggling with privacy implications and the ethical use of the data.

In an age of countless privacy scandals, companies are becoming increasingly paranoid about how they use the data they collect, with most imposing strict regulations that set out what can and can’t be done with personal data.

38% of organisations surveyed indicated that they are struggling with the ethical use of customer data and are unsure if they are being “careful not to be creepy”. The major concern is how sensitive data is handled after it is collected, data which customers might have shared without understanding what they had consented to, such as during the installation of mobile apps or signing up to free web-based services (e.g. social media sites and email services).

“There is a huge temptation to highly target and customise offers to individuals, but also predict behaviours which generate profits,” Telsyte Managing Director, Foad Fadaghi, says. “However, many have had to draw the line at how sensitive customer data, such as location movements, or passively scraped data is used to target customers,” Fadaghi says.

The use of big data analytics is fast becoming a huge profit aid for many Aussie organisations, with 84% of business and technology leaders seeing an improvement in their organisation. Productivity and improved decision making were rated highly, as was the ability to improve customer intelligence, and control operating costs. However there is a clear issue about where the line in sand should be drawn, and seems to differ from organisation to organisation.

The lack of not just industry wide protocols, but in many cases organisational wide protocols is one of the largest issues facing the development of big data analysis in Aussie companies. But considering how useful data collection has proven to be, these protocols will surely follow soon as the area develops further.