Semi makes sure that innovation and data protection go hand in hand

Every time we process an application or a change in client data, we focus on data protection requirements from the very start. Assessment and reviews require close cooperation between different departments and contacts.

Innovation with a safety net

Our Group Data Privacy team is always involved in any new developments linked to data protection. “Digital innovations and processes are the driving force in our bank – together with all the implications and different aspects this involves,” said Semi, who is responsible for protecting personal data. Throughout his school and university years, he had a keen interest in banking and capital markets as well as the relationship between aspects of commercial law and business.

Semi is now based at our headquarters in Frankfurt, where he is close to change processes and can cast a critical eye over data protection matters and guidelines, acting as a kind of back office for colleagues tinkering with innovative ideas.

Semi believes that the high priority given to data protection in the bank’s processes is an expression of the spirit of innovation that prevails within the bank. The Group Data Privacy team is always actively involved in anything relating to product developments or process adjustments at an early stage. Are product innovations ever blocked due to data protection concerns? “It can happen,” said Semi, “but we generally follow a solution-oriented approach. New products only go live when all legal issues and requirements have been clarified. In most cases, however, project managers have already satisfied these conditions during the control process.” Data protection is a key factor for the oversight panel that forms part of the New Product Approval process.

Security for the bank – and for clients in particular

Clients want progress, user comfort and information that suits their needs – and they want to be sure that their data is handled responsibly. As a result, all areas of our bank are well aware of the importance of data protection. Collaborating with colleagues gives Semi an insight into strategic considerations and, conversely, enables him to highlight critical issues in time to offer legally sound solutions.

One particular challenge is phrasing advice and information so that it provides the greatest possible transparency and clarity for both the bank and its clients. The processes and wording are fine tuned until every word fits. It is clear that Semi can make optimal use of his German and European commercial law expertise in this role.

Always abreast of the latest legal developments

The next big issue in data protection is the planned EU Directive on privacy and electronic communications (e-Privacy Directive). Although its implementation is still being discussed, the bank must be prepared for the introduction of this legislation. “Prevention is one of the most important tools we can use to enhance our reputation and ensure our competitive success,” said Semi. “I’m glad I can help to bring about innovation and lasting change, even behind the scenes.”
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