Where do governments and regulators around the world draw the line between maintaining their citizens’ privacy and having the appropriate level of scrutiny or transparency that can help provide security from criminal activity? How do you protect citizens’ rights and protect citizens at the same time?
The solution doesn’t lie in fighting fire with fire, or a FinTech arms race where you hope to stay one step ahead of the criminals by utilizing the latest tech innovation.
Instead, what is needed is a new way of working to combat these kinds of illegal activities via a collective, collaborative effort by both the public and private sector.
This will require the creation of global data standards by government regulators, working closely with the international banking community, that balance data protection with the ability to share secure data across both borders and sectors. It will need the development of better mechanisms through which financial institutions can confirm suspicious activity. The role of technology is simply to improve the scope, the efficiency and the effectiveness of these processes.
Ultimately this is a question of trust — both in terms of individuals trusting their governments and banks over the proper use of their data, and banks and regulators in having a greater confidence in the identity of account holders.
Collaboration is key
To achieve this, there again needs to be a commitment to collaboration. To building a new framework that enables better data sharing across sectors, between banks, governments, regulators, security agencies and technology firms that increases transparency and security while maintaining individual privacy.
Technology can help with the security of this system, but it will take concerted effort by the new public-private partners in crime-fighting to develop the trust and processes that will be fundamental to its success.
To disrupt today’s financial crimes, in other words, financial institutions and law enforcement agencies alike don’t just need new technology — they need to adopt a new way of working.