The talks
5 min

La Poste at the forefront of digital ethics

Digital transformation

The French want people working in commercial and administrative sectors to know enough about them to offer them the right service as quickly as possible, but they also worry about the risk of their data being uncontrollably passed from one place to another. La Poste created a Data Charter addressing the challenges and principles of treating personal data with respect in 2016 – two years before the arrival of GDPR.

Like Hansel and Gretel’s little breadcrumbs, we leave trails of information behind us about our preferences and buying habits as we browse the internet. This information means that the products and services offered to users are becoming more and more personalised.

This forms the basis of the digital revolution, of the “big data” phenomenon which has only just begun. The volume of information available to us increased a hundredfold between 1987 and 2007. Since then, it has doubled every two years.

This data “is alive: it can be updated, supplemented, extended...and can also be passed between different parties. This is companies’ data capital: it is the foundation for their future economic activity,” says Philippe Wahl, President of Le Groupe La Poste. Kevin Carillo, a Professor at Toulouse Business School, confirms this : “Company strategies are set to become increasingly ‘data-driven’, as big data plays a key role in bringing about innovation and new economic models.” 

The customer decides

For the benefits of this digital revolution to be felt by all, and to avoid data being collected and utilised at the expense of internet users, it is essential for us to protect this information. The European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) that came into force on the 25 May is the new European framework for processing and circulating data of a personal nature. But, as Wahl explains, “we wanted to go even further by publishing a Group Data Charter”. This Data Charter consists of concrete actions which respond to customers’ expectations in terms of their data. It is based around a single key principle: that the customer decides how their data is used.

 In this new world, where data is everywhere, every single employee undertakes to ensure that customers’ privacy is protected, and pledges to respect the confidentiality of all correspondence and personal data. This makes Le Groupe La Poste a leading figure in the field of digital ethics.

Data Charter : La Poste’s six commitments

To constantly work to provide additional services to its customers

  • Digital data is the foundation for all the services provided by La Poste. With it, we can offer more services with a higher degree of personalisation. It is a real lever for development for the Group.

To give people control over their data

  • Customers can view their personal data and may choose how La Poste is able to use it.

To protect data and track how it is processed

  • All data collection systems are subject to checks and all updates are documented, so we are always able to account for how we protect and respect customers’ personal data.

To ensure that we work with partners who we trust

  • The Group’s commitments to data protection also apply to all its partners, customers and suppliers.

To commit to working for the common good

  • We believe that open data and open innovation are vehicles for democratic renewal and innovation, and instrumental in achieving economic and social progress.

To ensure we have the resources we need to succeed

  • The Group has a special governance system which, in addition to implementing GDPR, ensures that our Data Charter commitments are adhered to.

95%

of French people consider it essential to be able to choose what information they wish to share, and to be able to access and modify it.