Business must earn trust or feel the heavy hand of government intervention. Tai Rotem explains.

Time is running out for business to self-regulate how it uses customers’ data. Every time a Facebook or an Equifax or even a smaller, less visible company misuses data, or allows data to be misused, the likelihood of regulatory intervention increases.

Regulation of any industry happens after the fact. It doesn’t adapt well to a fast-changing market and is often cumbersome and expensive. The message to all custodians of consumers’ data is clear: self-regulate before you get regulated.

The main lesson from the unfolding Facebook scandal is: be authentically good. Ensure data is secure, and that third parties can’t use that data to do harm.

Ensure there’s a thick line drawn between leveraging and exploiting a relationship with consumers.

All of that can be achieved through self-regulation, ensuring full transparency, and ultimately building trust, as in any relationship. Critical incidences where this trust is betrayed do immeasurable damage to consumer confidence that transcends the transgressors and attracts unwanted attention.