Q&A with ZoomInfo Chief Compliance Officer Simon McDougall



Tech coverage skilled Simon McDougall has joined ZoomInfo as our new chief compliance officer, overseeing our privateness and compliance capabilities.

On this function, Simon will advance one among our core missions: offering transparency about how we acquire and use skilled contact information, whereas upholding people’ rights to privateness. He’ll additionally advise us on greatest practices for the way we and our clients can stay on the forefront of information privateness, constructing belief in how information is used, and supporting compliance with the Common Information Safety Regulation (GDPR) in Europe, and the evolving vary of privateness laws all over the world.

Previous to becoming a member of us, Simon was deputy commissioner for the Info Commissioner’s Workplace (ICO), the U.Ok.’s impartial authority that upholds data rights and promotes information privateness for people and transparency by public entities. On the ICO, he established new expertise and innovation coverage, directed work in areas reminiscent of synthetic intelligence, adtech, and competitors, and led ICO’s response to information utilization within the U.Ok. in the course of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

We caught up with Simon to be taught extra about his first month on the job, his views on tendencies in privateness and compliance, and extra.

Q: Why did you be a part of ZoomInfo?

A: I used to be actually struck by ZoomInfo’s core perception you could be a privacy-first group and use that as a aggressive differentiator. Too many organizations see privateness as a zero-sum recreation, that means that any business development must be on the expense of particular person data rights. I noticed that ZoomInfo’s success within the business-to-business (B2B) gross sales and advertising and marketing house has been accompanied by a realistic give attention to good privateness practices, and I wished to be part of that.

Q: What are your first impressions? 

A: Effectively, I’m solely into my fourth week, and there’s nonetheless an enormous quantity to be taught. However I’ve been struck by the actually constructive tradition right here. There’s an understanding from folks within the engineering, product, and gross sales capabilities that we’ve to “stroll the stroll” and never simply “speak the speak.” This makes conversations about information utilization a lot simpler.

I’ve already seen how this interprets into good practices. For example, the way in which we interact with folks in our database, offering them with discover of our insurance policies, supporting methods for them to choose out, at a pace and scale that I haven’t seen elsewhere. That’s actually necessary to how we work.

Q: Why are information privateness and compliance priorities for ZoomInfo? 

A: Sadly, belief is in brief provide within the information economic system. Typically it is because corporations bask in poor practices and generally it’s as a result of they don’t know how you can clarify what they do. This implies ZoomInfo has to work twice as laborious to reveal its dedication to information privateness and compliance. Clients are rightly skeptical of all gamers on this discipline and, frankly, we have to present why we’re totally different. 

A number of key differentiators embody our self-service privateness heart that people can entry on demand. We’re a registered information dealer within the rigorous states of Vermont and California. We’ve additionally launched the business’s first Enterprise Contact Desire Registry (BCPR), a worldwide database of particular person opt-out requests that we course of and make obtainable to different B2B information suppliers. By supplying all the B2B information business with a ready-made checklist of opt-outs, the BCPR presents companies a handy option to prioritize privateness compliance. 

Q: What are ZoomInfo’s privacy-related targets for 2022?

A: I’m nonetheless the brand new man round right here, however one factor I’ve noticed is that we obtain a number of questions on how we deal with information from totally different stakeholders, reminiscent of folks in our database, clients, regulators, and the press. All of us care about the identical stuff, reminiscent of transparency, consumer autonomy, and safety. We have to take the nice, accountable practices that we’ve at ZoomInfo and discover higher methods to share that with others.

On the identical time, there’s at all times extra we will do. As we develop internationally and broaden our vary of providers, we wish to assist our clients perceive and adjust to the principles and laws they encounter. Fairly often, this implies making our providers as configurable as doable whereas additionally ensuring that we’re clear about our personal practices and the way they make us a reliable associate.

Q: What have been a number of the most typical avoidable errors you witnessed in your function on the regulatory aspect?

A: There was usually a disconnect between the oldsters concerned in supporting compliance – legal professionals, compliance officers, and danger managers – and those that have been concerned in gross sales and advertising and marketing. At worst, this ended up being a cat-and-mouse recreation of what the revenue-generating groups might squeeze previous the compliance capabilities. That’s a very unhealthy scenario that creates compliance dangers for the corporate and drains the vitality and innovation from everyone concerned. 

It’s an apparent factor to say, however tradition is critically necessary at ZoomInfo. With out the fitting tradition, each initiative round insurance policies, danger administration, and compliance will fail.

Q: What are some future privateness tendencies out there? The place do you see the evolution of enterprise information going for gross sales and advertising and marketing? 

A: We’re going to see increasingly regulation. Around the globe and within the U.S., primarily on the state stage, there are new privateness legal guidelines which might be recent on the books or within the works. It’s actually laborious for anyone to maintain up. Between the letter of the regulation and all of the regulatory steerage, it’s simply an enormous quantity of studying for anyone.

However the excellent news is that the underlying ideas for a lot of the privateness guidelines are the identical. So it’s doable for organizations to recruit good privateness professionals, be a part of the fitting business teams, and begin to construct world information processing fashions that present significant data rights to people. This can be a large change from the place we have been just a few years in the past, when there have been just some consultants and fewer fashions thought-about good follow.

By way of gross sales and advertising and marketing, we’re shifting past the time the place many gamers within the information business have been attempting to accumulate as a lot data as doable – no matter its origin, high quality, or stage of intrusion. We’re coming into a extra mature part the place firms are reconciling how they discover the fitting consumers for items and providers—with out trampling over each consumer expectations and privateness laws. 

ZoomInfo is in a superb place right here, each traditionally and going ahead. In the long run, we’re all attempting to match consumers and sellers, however we don’t must be creepy, nasty, or unlawful in doing that.



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here