Love at first byte

Choosing a business solution partner can also have long-lasting consequences, so make sure you choose well.

In life, love at first sight might turn more into a nightmare for the rest of your life once you really get to know your partner. Similarly, choosing a business solution partner can also have long lasting consequences, if you don’t take the time to get to know if they’re right for you.

We all want to avoid a horrible breakup that makes you wonder how it all started in the first place – when you find out your personal information has been shared across the world, you start receiving the late-night phone calls from foreign numbers, texts with deceptive undertones, and your inbox starts to feel more like that of a stranger than your own. The relationship may have ended but choosing the wrong business solution partner with questionable data use ethics means you could be sharing custody of your data for a long time to come.

Let’s look at how you can speed-date your potential business solution and ensure that you and your data can have that happily ever after ‘love at first byte’. Here are some tips to help you check in on the relationship and make sure those love tingles aren’t going to turn to chills if you decide it’s over.

Look at their terms and conditions

It’s easy to be dazzled by good looks, a charming voice and instantly have an impression that everything looks fine. Why not jump right in and start heating things up right away? Well, trust is the most important part of any relationship, so it’s time to slow things down and read the terms and conditions of your relationship.

If they don’t have one – that’s your first red flag, and indicates you’re in for a rocky ride.

Next, you need to know what happens when it is all over. Does your data leave with you? Or have you now locked yourself into a relationship with shared custody of your data? Some partners will sell your data, but most times they let you know, so check if you’re entering an open relationship from the start. It’s much better to know from the start than to find out when you bump into your shared data while you are out one romantic night (or visiting a random website).

Take the time to read the terms and conditions. It may seem like overkill, but it is most definitely easier to leave on a handshake then and there than to part ways after you’ve shared your details.

Is their house in order?

If their terms and conditions look good and things are moving to the next level – it’s time to ask how your provider runs their house.

This is most definitely a first date question. Imagine finally being invited back to your partner’s place and you find your private things laying all over their house – and realizing they live in a shared house! Your data is the same – you want to ensure you know exactly what your data partner is sharing, with who and when. But what do you look for?

Ask how they store your data. You want to make sure they encrypt your data, while it's being used, and at rest. Check who else has access to the data you are providing. Understand how the relationship works – will they treat your data ethically, in a way that’s okay with you? Or, once you hand it over, does it become theirs? These are important questions to have answered.

Where do you live?

That first date is off like a rocket. It all seems to be going well – this could be a match made in heaven … then you realize your potential partner is only here on a short work visa and jets back home to the other side of the world shortly. Are you really wanting a long-distance relationship in a different country? You might not have a choice, but it’s better to know upfront that you’re up for long nights over video calls.

Knowing where your data lives at the end of the day will dictate what legal rights you have when it is all over, or who can see your data without your consent.

If you rely on this data for your core business, understanding the location and impacts of politics and global events should all be considered when choosing the location of your data.

If you find your first date is not providing you with ownership, transparency, or a sense of privacy, and you feel like the intentions of their data ethics just do not align – then maybe it’s a good sign to continue on your journey for love at first byte.