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Electronic Insurance Regulations Issued

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) Insurance Authority recently published the Insurance Authority Board of Directors’ Resolution No. 18 of 2020 on Electronic Insurance Regulations dated 27 April 2020 (“the Regulation”). The first draft of these regulations was published in January 2019, and after public consultation and discussion, a revised draft was published in December 2019, which has now been finalised. The Regulations and the timing of it are very relevant in the current circumstances, i.e. the impact of COVID-19 and the social distancing measures by the government, marketing, and solicitation of insurance by physical means is at an all-time low.

The term electronic has been widely defined as anything relating to technology having electrical, digital, magnetic, wireless, visual, electromagnetic, automated, optical or similar capabilities. The scope of the Regulations extend to all electronic and smart insurance operations carried out on the internet address of the company, social media such as Facebook, Linkedin, multimedia such as YouTube, Instagram, blogs, applications such as google doc, Wiki, AI-based systems, text messages, instant chat channels, smart applications, etc.

All insurance companies and related businesses such as insurance agents, actuary, broker, surveyor, insurance consultant, carrying out operations through electronic mode, require prior approval from the Insurance Authority. The application for such approval must be accompanied by an action plan for electronic operations, approved by the Board, and contain analysis of the risk, projected volume and contingency plan for the electronic operations.

Life insurance policies with investment components cannot be transacted online, while the sale of life insurance policies with standard underwriting (less the investment component), such as term life is allowed. Health and general lines of business on property and liability risk, including marine cargo insurance can all be sold online and are subject to the Regulations.

The website of the insurance companies must be maintained by the IT department of the company, but if the management of such a website is being outsourced to a third-party, then prior approval of the Insurance authority must be obtained in this regard. Insurers currently use multiple online platforms for online marketing and selling, often procured through third-party entities. The intent of the Regulations is to capture and regulate, where possible all such third-party entities who are engaged in insurance distribution.

The Regulations also put much impetus on provisions of information security and also requires that storage of data must be in the UAE. It is however not clear whether the Regulations require any Cloud server to be based within the UAE.

In addition, the Regulations recognise that the electronic platforms and systems of the companies may not be developed enough to carry out these operations and hence allow outsourcing of electronic operations for this purpose. The Regulations also allow usage of third-party websites for sale of insurance but require the prior consent of the Insurance Authority to be obtained for any such arrangements.

The Regulations also recognise, for the first time, the “Price Comparison Websites” and interestingly state that only an insurance broker can deal with a price comparison website. The Regulations also require Price Comparison Websites to be registered with the Insurance Authority and a copy of the agreement signed between Insurance Broker and Price Comparison Websites must be shared with the Insurance Authority. The prerequisites for registration of Price Comparison websites has also been listed in the Regulations but state that the application for registration must be made in accordance with the applicable regulations, implying that the Insurance Authority may be issuing further regulation on Price Comparison Websites shortly.

The Regulations state that the provisions shall apply from the date of publication of Regulations in the official gazette, but also allow insurance companies and insurance-related professions a time period of 6 months from the date of publication in the official gazette to align their position and operations with the Regulations.

While the recognition of Price Comparison Websites is a step in the right direction from the UAE Insurance Authority given the global trends in this regard, the requirement for a Price Comparison Website to deal only through a broker creates an extra layer of regulatory requirement and therefore unnecessary costs, the benefit of which could have been passed on to end customers in the absence of such requirement. Nonetheless, insurance markets globally have noticed a surge in demand for insurance policies through online mode and therefore this Regulation brings much-needed clarity, which will help in further growth of the UAE insurance market.

EY Croatia acquires the tech company ENTG

Consulting company EY Croatia acquired the creative tech company ENTG, the Croatian website Netokracija reported. With this acquisition, EY Croatia makes a great entrance to the digital and the disruptive industry.

For ENTG, on the other hand, this exit is a step forward in their evolution that will improve their position on the market. Reportedly, it is yet to be decided whether they will keep their brand as ENTG, or will operate under the EY brand.

“In order to evolve, we decided to continuously disrupt ourselves. That’s why we are happy to announce joining our forces to EY family. Big thanks to everyone who had our back and who trusted us to keep theirs also! We are bringing all the legacy we’ve made so far into a new and upgraded era for all existing and new clients, partners and colleagues but now powered by an amazing EY Croatia!”, wrote the ENTG team on their Facebook page.

According to ENTG CEO, Ida Pandur, her team within EY will be dedicated to providing advisory services in the field of Customer Experience (CX). Moreover, they will give EY a new mindset and new energy in digitization and marketing.

“My team will be in charge of consulting services in the CX area, especially in the digital area. All that we have built up as ENTG to date; we will continue to do within the EY but at a higher level. EY will take over the entire business, including the team and the cooperation with our clients and partners”, says Pandur for Netokracija.

For EY Croatia this conquest means a further expansion that will give an added value to their current and their future customers – services that go beyond traditional finance ones such as audit, accounting and tax advisory and consulting.

“I believe that the combination of the specific digital skills that the ENTG team has; together with the innovative and traditional financial knowledge, the strength of the EY’s global network of professionals and the great domestic market experience, will add value to our clients. I hope that this new practice will be recognized in our country”, says Horvat Berislav, Country Managing Partner at EY Croatia, Netokracija reported.

Under the corporate motto “Inspired by digital”, ENTG was found in 2013 by the 26th old Ida Pandur. ENTG is a creative tech company and consulting hub for advanced digital strategies and projects. The company goal is to provide clients with unique 360 approaches in creating their strategies and make digital fully integrated part of complete marketing and business development activities plan.

EY on the other side is multinational professional services firm with a special focus in the finance industry. Globally, EY is known as one of the “Big Four” accounting companies. The company operates as a network of member firms which are separate legal entities in individual countries. In Croatia, EY is present since 1991, providing audit, advisory, accounting, tax and transaction support services.

MicroStrategy® Wins a 2018 Industry Excellence Award

MicroStrategy® Incorporated (Nasdaq: MSTR), a leading worldwide provider of enterprise analytics and mobility software, today announced that Dresner Advisory Services has honored MicroStrategy with a 2018 Technology Leader for Business Intelligence award for its strong position in the 2018 Wisdom of Crowds® Business Intelligence (BI) report.

The Dresner Advisory Services Industry Excellence Awards go to brands that were ranked as leaders in two user-rating models included in the Wisdom of Crowds series of global Dresner research reports. The reports are based on data collected from a large base of end users in the BI and analytics industry and provide a broad and detailed assessment of each market, including current product usage, key buying drivers, technology priorities, and future intentions, as well as performance ratings of all relevant vendors.

“We congratulate MicroStrategy for receiving top marks from its customer base,” said Howard Dresner, founder and chief research officer at Dresner Advisory Services. “The unique value of our research is in its end user perspective of the market, both in adoption trends and intentions, and the ability to provide an unfiltered assessment of industry suppliers.”

The MicroStrategy platform provides the capabilities organizations need to build and deploy modern analytics and mobility applications that transform and accelerate business decisions. By putting answers in everyone’s hands, regardless of enterprise role, function, or skill level, the MicroStrategy platform helps organizations become a more Intelligent Enterprise™.

“The recognition from industry leader Dresner Advisory Services marks another milestone in our mission of making every enterprise a more Intelligent Enterprise,” said Michael J. Saylor, CEO, MicroStrategy Incorporated. “With our award-winning enterprise analytics and mobility platform, organizations around the world can get the answers they need, delivered where they need them, to make effective decisions for competitive advantage, driving their digital transformation initiatives and planning today for tomorrow’s challenges.”

This award is the latest in a line of increasing industry recognition for MicroStrategy, which was top ranked in the 2018 Wisdom of Crowds Location Intelligence Market Study and received a Dresner Advisory Services 2017 Technology Innovation Award for embedded BI and big data analytics. Start a free trial of MicroStrategy Desktop™ today.

About Dresner Advisory Services

Dresner Advisory Services was formed by Howard Dresner, an independent analyst, author, lecturer, and business adviser. Dresner Advisory Services, LLC focuses on creating and sharing thought leadership for Business Intelligence (BI), information management, performance management and related areas.

About MicroStrategy Incorporated

MicroStrategy (Nasdaq: MSTR) is a worldwide leader in enterprise analytics and mobility software. A pioneer in the BI and analytics space, MicroStrategy delivers innovative software that empowers people to make better decisions and transform the way they do business. We provide our enterprise customers with world-class software and expert services so they can deploy unique intelligence applications. To learn more, visit MicroStrategy online, and follow us on LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook.

MicroStrategy, MicroStrategy Desktop, and Intelligent Enterprise are either trademarks or registered trademarks of MicroStrategy Incorporated in the United States and certain other countries. Other product and company names mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners.

Facebook to add 1,000 jobs in Ireland in 2019

Facebook is to hire an additional 1,000 people in Ireland over the course of 2019. The extra roles will be created across 60 teams, including the social media giants’ engineering, safety, legal, policy, marketing and sales teams.

The roles will based on its Ballsbridge campus which was previously home to AIB.

The expansion will bring the total number of people employed across its centres in Cork, Dublin and Meath to 5,000.

The announcement was made in Dublin today by the company’s chief operating officer, Sheryl Sandberg, while she attended Facebook’s Gather event in Croke Park.

More than 500 small and medium businesses from Ireland and across the EMEA region attended the event.

Speaking on one of Facebook’s priorities in 2019 to earn users’ trust, Ms Sandberg said: “Facebook is a very different company to what it was in 2016 or even a year ago”.

She detailed the steps the company has taken, and will be taking, in key priority areas including “the safety and security of Facebook’s users; the commitment to cracking down on fake accounts and false news; strengthening defences against election interference; and being even more transparent in how it operates and makes decisions, to make itself more publicly accountable”.

Meanwhile, Head of Facebook Ireland, Gareth Lambe, admitted today that the company is concerned about the current housing crisis gripping the country.

However, he says it is not something which has stunted Facebook’s growth, and insists he has faith in how the government is tackling the problem.

“We’re concerned, of course; to date, it hasn’t been a blocker for us hiring, we have over 4,000 people here in Ireland and announcing another 1,000 today is a big investment,” he said.

POP OUT We support all the government’s initiatives, we think they’re doing all the right things around planning, reform and cost benchmarking and all the infrastructure reform that we’re doing.

“We think that will release this glut in a few years, we see it being not as bad in a few years,” he said.

It was also announced today that Facebook would triple its investment in online safety programmes run by the National Anti-Bullying Centre (ABC) and SpunOut.ie, bringing the total investment to €1m.

The funding will go towards research and an online training program for teachers and parents of secondary school students.

An online safety resource for teenagers will also be created in partnership with SpunOut.ie.

Businesses struggling with GDPR compliance

According to a recent survey conducted by Deloitte, only 30% of organisations are have been responding to customer requests regarding their personal data within the GDPR timeframe.

What is GDPR?

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) came into effect in May of this year. A measure put in place to modernise previous data protection directives from the 1990s, GDPR aims to keep pace with rapid technological changes when it comes to protecting customer information. Furthermore, GDPR was implemented to set in a place a more consistent set of guidelines across Europe.

Although GDPR regulations have been more effectively applied to technological advancements, it took more than four years of negotiation and discussion before GDPR guidelines were decided upon. This highlights how, even though steps have been taken, uptake is still too slow when compared to the innovation of the technology sector, and the potential misuse and monopolisation of data.

Each European country had the option to alter the laws slightly according to their own jurisdictions. In the UK, the Data Protection Act 2018 was initially greeted with some controversy since guidelines were amended in this country to protect cyber-security researchers.

These guidelines protect the consumer by allowing them easier access to what data a company has access to, as well as introducing steeper fines to organisations who go against regulations. This is overseen and implemented by the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO). Companies must inform the ICO no later than 72 hours after any form of breach occurs where data they have stored has been accessed.

Businesses were allowed from May 2016 to May 2018 to prepare for and implement new GDPR measures, and so the question remains: why are businesses not fully adhering to the GDPR timeframe?

Is it the Brexit effect?

Post-Brexit changes should not have an overwhelming effect on GDPR guidelines, this is largely due to the contingencies each individual European country has been allowed to make so the laws most effectively work.

The two prior years businesses have had to fully prepare for GDPR have meant that businesses had the time to source other effective ways in which to gather the relevant information they need to conduct business, without breaching a customer’s right to privacy.

An example of a data breach story that made the headlines would be Facebook’s admission that 50 million ‘access tokens’ for accounts had been taken by unknown hackers. This is the kind of eventuality that GDPR regulations hopes to reduce through the introduction of stricter measures and hefty fines.

Survey conducted by Deloitte

“Six months in, what is clear is that some organisations are still grappling with the implementation of their GDPR compliance,” said Peter Gooch, cyber risk partner at Deloitte.

Deloitte has stated that in the six months GDPR has been in effect, more than two-thirds of organisations who took part in their global survey (consisting of answers supplied by 1,100 organisations) have been responding to customer data requests late.

Gooch continued: “Given the complexities of such programmes and increased consumer awareness of such requests, we would expect some bedding-in time. However, our research found that a fifth of organisations only aimed for bare minimum compliance back in May, which may be indicative of the delays some customers are currently experiencing.”

The GDPR timeframe for handling data requests submitted by the consumer (for example, the option to opt out of direct marketing or to erase their details from company systems) is one month. Although statistics for the fulfilment of this are low, it is an improvement on previous measures.

“That said, 33% of organisations surveyed continue to invest in their privacy practices, including in technology and talent,” said Gooch. “Since May, 70% of organisations surveyed have seen an increase in staff who are either partly or fully focused on GDPR compliance. For many, this included the recruitment of a dedicated Data Protection Officer (DPO). Of the countries surveyed, the UK leads in this respect, with 92% of respondents assigning a DPO.”

With DPO’s now being assigned role-specific responsibilities to handle GDPR guidelines, the number of businesses who are handling data requests in a timely manner should increase.

Gooch concluded: “Overall, organisations are taking the right steps in continuing their GDPR implementation and the majority (92%) felt confident in demonstrating their ability to conform in the long-term. In the immediate term, though, many will need to address today’s pressure to respond to data requests. This is particularly the case as online tools, enabling consumers to make mass data requests, increase in popularity.

“Those that are currently responding with some delay will need to take a more customer-centric approach, not only to meet the existing volume, but also the influx of requests their tools could create.”

If you would like to view our Privacy Policy, please click on the following link: https://www.advisoryexcellence.com/gdpr-privacy-policy/