Business and Finance

Securities fraud charges and alternative data providers - App Annie Case

  • 1.  Securities fraud charges and alternative data providers - App Annie Case

    Posted 14 days ago
    ***Please excuse cross-postings***
    Hi everyone,
    This story came to my attention via this morning's Outsell newsletter and I'm keen to learn perspectives on it from our community.
    In light of this case:
    How might you adjust your acquisitions, collections, and training practices? 
    Often vendors and publishers are more vague about their methodologies than we would like, as we all know. What can we expect from vendors going forward? What will you change in the way of your expectations from them? I'm thinking about things like the "chain of consent" and "data chain." 
    Thanks for reading and considering my thoughts and questions.
    -Betsy


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    [Betsy] [Clementson]
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  • 2.  RE: Securities fraud charges and alternative data providers - App Annie Case

    Posted 13 days ago
    I see this was cross-posted, so I'll post my reply for our B&F colleagues, too:

    Hi, Betsy,

    Thanks for kicking off this discussion and you raise great questions ,as always. Personally, my approach to this won't change, since the same levels of diligence and ethics that I apply in research and intel gathering helps protect from these issues. You'll remembers that, in our Cert program's INTEL-01 course, we discussed that we need to be aware of the intel & ethics hygiene practiced by our contractors and vendors -- our intel supply chain. While the case we discussed then focused on a contractors (i.e., human sources), the same applies to content vendors, as well. This is also where the Source Map can come in handy. It's an inventory of our tools and we can apply it to evaluate the integrity of these tools from an ethical/legal standpoint, as well.

    You make a valid observation: 

    Often vendors and publishers are more vague about their methodologies than we would like, as we all know. What can we expect from vendors going forward? What will you change in the way of your expectations from them? I'm thinking about things like the "chain of consent" and "data chain." 

    It's hard to say how vendors will respond, generally, since the landscape is so varied, ranging from established content providers to apps that are relatively new to the scene. I've found that start-ups are more apt to lack the organizational infrastructure and practices I want to see (let's face it...minimum viable product often doesn't include the considerations and practices that can ensure data/content hygiene). I'll continue to use my screening checklists when I'm vetting them (and looking carefully at contracts and policies). Btw, these checklists need to be updated, as technology and the product marketplace evolves. Understanding our content supply chain across the various domains is helpful here.

    It's important to also note that while this case involves securities fraud, we also need to consider applicable laws and regs (in whatever jurisdiction your firm operates, including global ones). I see in this case questions involving copyright (as it relates to web scraping), privacy & data protection (non-anonymized data, consent), and trade secrets (sharing client data/info without authorization. Potentially, there questions that go beyond the domain of the U.S. SEC.

    As these articles mention, awareness, policies, and training are paramount. I extend this to the top of the organization, which is often neglected. It's often the lack of awareness among managers that enable these practices to exist or continue. Other motives and factors (profit, organizational culture, ignorance) aside, people can be too proud of their cleverness in intelligence collection, product development, or competitive practices, which inevitably opens the door to trouble. Training, policies, and reinforcements are vital to checking these impulses and simply providing people important frameworks and boundaries to understand ethics and to remain ethical.

    I'll stop here, but, as you know, I'm happy to clarify or answer any further questions. I look forward to others' inputs, as well.

    Cheers,
    Cynthia


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    Cynthia Cheng Correia
    Managing Director
    Knowledge inForm Inc
    ccorreia@knowledgeinform.com
    (617) 689-8877
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