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Consistency and transparency: Getting connected products to reflect organizational values

Breann McNeil (mcneil_breann@elanco.com) is Senior Advisor, Anti-Corruption and Third Party Management, for Elanco Animal Health in Greenfield, Indiana, USA.

From tennis rackets to crockpots, “smart” products are now available everywhere for the general consumer. On a daily basis, companies are considering how consumers might want to use technology in everyday items, what will control the devices, what services will be attached to use the device, and how they would interact on the Internet of Things (IoT). If the organization you are working for does not yet have a connected device or service related to IoT in the marketplace, it is only a matter of time.

Ethics and compliance (E&C) has an important opportunity—and responsibility—during this digital shift. Most of us are familiar with compliance risks in these connected devices and IoT, typically focused on privacy or cybersecurity. But thinking in a silo when evaluating your organization’s exposure in this area is no longer effective.

The ethics and compliance officer can choose to embrace the coming changes, actively learn about the products and their role in the company’s strategic future, or they can avoid it because they don’t understand the space. Avoiding it guarantees that E&C will miss key conversations that could protect both the company and the future stakes of the IoT network and the design of related devices.

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