Cross-Border Data Migration – 5 Steps to Building Consumer Confidence

About 7.9 million retailers conduct their sales exclusively online all over the world. To receive and deliver sales, these businesses must collect and store consumer data. Almost all companies are part of global supply chains that involve multiple industries around the world.

An unimaginable amount of data is being collected due to so many interactions online. This interaction can also involve the transfer of data from one company to another. However, this data in transit can be exposed to a multitude of risks that can only be addressed through good data governance.

Vulnerabilities during data transfer

The first question we can ask ourselves is: why do we need to transfer data? Data is an essential tool that every industry needs to function. Take, for example, a simple supply chain that has a distributor, a vendor, and a business that is a consumer. A distributor will need to collect and transfer data along this supply chain in order for the consumer to receive goods from the seller. Now expand this network to an external level. In this case, the data will be transferred across borders.

Data transfer can be defined as the process of collecting, transmitting and replicating large sets of data between units in two different companies.

This phenomenon is so widespread that there are 26 billion vehicles and other connected equipment, including household items, capable of transmitting data across borders. This prevalence can also be damaging to consumers if it is not encrypted and transferred from one place to another. This is because the local database contains information about consumers.

Data governance protection

Data governance, in a nutshell, refers to the implementation of security policies that prevent corporations and businesses from collecting too much data from the consumer. Although each country has different restrictions on data transfers, a common policy followed by most countries is the GDPR standards for cross-border data transfers.

The restrictions generally apply to personal data originating from any country in the European Union that goes to a non-EU country.

This policy involves three decision-based approaches to data transfers, appropriate guarantees and, finally, specific exemptions.

However, the most common approach relies on specific exemptions. Therefore, with the publication of international regulations, companies were now under an obligation to comply. In fact, several large companies like Apple and others have better security policies.

Here are the 5 steps to building consumer confidence.

  • Transparency between a company and a consumer

Consumers always appreciate that companies are candid about the data collected. However, companies tend to create loopholes and compile lengthy terms and conditions to prevent the consumer from knowing the extent of their collected data.

Therefore, a business should be transparent about the amount of data collected as well as changes to privacy policies, if any.

  • Maintain a reputation for confidentiality

Consumers tend to pay attention to a company’s reputation before giving out information, whether sensitive or not. Therefore, businesses need to go the extra mile to ensure that consumers are aware of the various policies in place to benefit their safety.

Let’s take a look at a case study involving Apple and its SSO (single sign-on) a service. According to this feature, the consumer is able to unlock important accounts only with their Face ID or Touch ID in addition to login information. Therefore, consumers are more likely to use Apple because of this reputation.

Making sure the user knows their data is being collected will help them determine if the site or business is trustworthy. This step is known as consent and varies depending on the amount of information recorded.

For example, when a person visits a website, they receive a pop-up message informing them about the use of cookies on the website. Thus, the website respects a consumer’s privacy enough to ensure that they consent to their information being recorded before doing so.

Sometimes consumers themselves are not aware of the security risks involved in collecting their data online. This particularly applies to the older generation. Therefore, businesses can take it upon themselves to educate their consumer base regarding their data.

For example, Mozilla creates content that can be understood by anyone about how they protect themselves from organizations that collect their data. They even have a private browser called Firefox Focus.

  • Provide end-to-end security

Another method of increasing consumer confidence involves the use of end-to-end encryption. That is, the data collected must have a range of security measures to protect it against theft. This includes encryption of data at rest and in transit, field-level encryption, etc.

Each company must ensure that all data collected complies with regional and international regulations. Whether it’s GDPR or other rules, adhering to them will ensure that the business has no issues with the law or its consumers.


Earning the trust of consumers is an important aspect of growing a business. Ensuring that consumers feel secure when investing in a company’s services and products should be a priority for any business. This not only promotes trust between the company and the consumer, but also between the company and the country.

Sean N. Ayres