Who's looking at your data - and what could they do with it?
We’re all aware of just how much the companies we deal with know about us - and there is constant debate about whether this is good or bad. Clearly it depends on how that information is used. And it’s not just banks, supermarkets and online retailers who use our digital profiles, the leasehold sector has seen an explosion in the use of data too. Building management systems, resident portals and online repair reporting are just some of the ways in which technology is now being used deliver services to residents.
This rapid growth in the ability of companies to harvest our data makes it easier to find out what we want and sell it to us. And that’s not always ethical. So property management companies are facing a major challenge: how to deliver the services flat owners want without compromising their privacy.
Earlier this year the Institute of Residential Property Management (IRPM) published a series of white papers that looked at the different ways the leasehold sector is being affected by innovations in technology. It also looked ahead to see what the impact of tech will be in future.
One of the key findings was that information and data sharing are central to risk management in residential buildings and that poor access to this information among property managers results in a lack of knowledge around block safety and the materials used in construction. This has been writ large by the ongoing cladding crisis facing thousands of leaseholders round the country. So getting the right level and quality of information and finding ways to share it seamlessly across different software platforms will be one of the major challenges.
Technology now holds the key to improving residents’ daily lives. But in order to manage data safely and effectively for the benefit of both the industry and its customers, the IRPM believes development of professional ethical standards for the property industry should be made an absolute priority.
The white papers are aimed at IRPM members and are available on its website. But they may also be of interest to self-managing RMC directors, as well as to anyone who wants to know more about the way data is being used in residential blocks. Click here to take a look.
Author : Maryanne Bowring
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