Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Research Provides Investors with Guide to Evaluate Companies with Mounting Data Privacy Dependencies

Webinar On Thurs., Sept 20th at 2 PM ET To Review Findings

NEW YORK, NY, August 21, 2018 – A new report, The Data Privacy Puzzle, finds that companies with business models reliant on the increasing quantity and scope of consumer data are at risk if public ambivalence about data privacy turns to opposition. The report outlines four possible scenarios for the impact of data privacy concerns on companies and offers eight company-specific case studies. Importantly, the report provides a framework for investors to monitor corporate responses to this rapidly shifting, high stakes environment. Prepared by Cornerstone Capital Group (CCG) and commissioned by the Investor Research Responsibility Center Institute (IRRCi), The Data Privacy Puzzle coincides with multiple data privacy incidents, including concerns about Facebook that resulted in a single-day valuation plunge of more than $119 billion. Analysts have indicated that a cause of Facebook’s declining growth is tied to data privacy concerns. Analysts also indicate that many consumers do not support the collection of their data, and companies that are built to collect and use data are likely to face downside risk, as the potential for government regulation increases. Download the report here. A webinar, featuring IRRCi and Cornerstone experts discussing the report, is scheduled for Thursday, September 20, 2018, at 2:00 PM ET. Register here at no charge. “As policymakers and consumers struggle with data privacy issues, investors need frameworks to understand both the different ways companies monetize personal data and the business risks those business models face,” said Jon Lukomnik, IRRCi executive director. “Given the recent data scandals and the soaring level of concern around data privacy issues, investors are increasingly wary about how companies will evolve business strategies reliant on consumer data. As expectations for privacy shifts, some companies will flounder, and others will flourish. This new report outlines useful frameworks to assess data privacy issues.” “The ambiguity of the current data privacy environment is unsustainable, and investors need to understand how social and governance issues like data privacy impact company performances,” said John Wilson, Cornerstone’s head of research and corporate governance. “As data privacy concerns rapidly evolve, investors need to evaluate how well the company’s governance is positioned to manage changing norms, expectations and regulations that may affect access to data, stakeholder trust and, ultimately, company strategy.” Several emerging trends are raising the issue of data privacy as a strategic and operational concern for companies and investors. This report:

  • Identifies key regulatory, technological and behavioral trends that will drive societal response to concerns about data privacy;
  • Outlines four possible regulatory and consumer expectation scenarios that will impact companies;
  • Examines the business models relating to the gathering, use and sharing of personal data for eight case-study companies, including: Alphabet, Amazon, American Express, AT&T, Facebook, MasterCard, Twitter, and Walmart; and
  • Provides a general framework for investors to monitor the impact of evolving attitudes toward data privacy on companies, plus an overview of emerging data-privacy solutions.

The Investor Responsibility Research Center Institute is a nonprofit research organization that funds academic and practitioner research enabling investors, policymakers, and other stakeholders to make data-driven decisions. IRRCi research covers a wide range of topics of interest to investors, is objective, unbiased, and disseminated widely. More information is available at the IRRCi Website

Cornerstone Capital Group was created to catalyze the flow of capital toward a more regenerative and inclusive global economy. The firm seeks to optimize investment performance together with social impact through rigorous research that systematically integrates Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) factors into portfolio design. In seeking positive societal impact at scale, Cornerstone offers investment advisory and capital markets advisory services, working with asset owners, corporations and financial institutions. Cornerstone is are an SEC Registered Investment Advisor and a WBENC certified women-owned business. More information is available at www.cornerstonecapinc.com.

Media Contacts: Kelly Kenneally | +1 202.256.1445 | kelly@irrcinstitute.org | @irrcresearch Jesse Tron (for Cornerstone) | +1 646.859.5952 | jtron@mgroupsc.com | @Cornerstone_Cap