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New Risks of the Digital Economy: A Guide From RANEPA Experts

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The loss of customers, the company’s reputation, and jeopardizing privacy are new risks increasingly facing businesses these days.

The Russia-OECD Centre of the Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration (RANEPA) has created a digital compliance guide for companies to help reduce non-financial risks in a modern economy.

Responsible business is no longer just an international trend. In many respects, it’s certain legislative requirements, and non-compliance with them may not only result in reputational costs but also lead to litigation.

More and more questions about how to be responsible arise in the context of the rapid development of digital technologies (blockchain, online trading, online services, deliveries, and bots) that pose new security challenges, such as using personal information against a person, fraud, the disappearance of some jobs and rising unemployment.

“Companies working in the digital world shouldn’t think that compliance is limited to digital risks issues. The key issues are compliance with the standards of responsible business practices, which affect nine areas: human rights, labour rights, corruption, environmental protection, taxes, competition, science and technology, information disclosure and consumer protection”, Antonina Levashenko, head of the Russia-OECD RANEPA, said.

Compliance is a guide to creating an internal corporate policy.

“The document will help companies minimise threats to digital security: adopt internal rules aimed at preventing risks; create an action plan in case of cyber-attacks; protect privacy (comply not only with national requirements for personal data, but also with the requirements of foreign countries where the business operates)”, an expert from the Russia-OECD Centre Alexandra Koval said.

According to experts, Russian exporters of digital products often don’t know about the requirements for responsible business imposed by OECD (the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) countries, such as hygiene and safety rules, negative impact on the environment, or healthy competition.

In 2017, Russia ranked 41st in readiness for the digital economy. The national programme “Digital Economy of the Russian Federation” is aimed at eliminating this lag. Implementing integrated compliance in organisations will help solve this problem.

“Achieving ambitious goals is possible only if Russian companies, firstly, meet the requirements of export destination markets; and secondly, are resistant to the risks associated with working in the digital world”, Levashenko said.

The Russia-OECD Centre has taken steps to help businesses cope with this task. In particular, a questionnaire has been created as part of digital compliance; by answering this questionnaire the company will be able to evaluate the implementation of the aforementioned guide. The document developed by experts was presented at a panel discussion at the GMIS (Global Manufacturing and Industrialisation Summit) in July 2019.

Digital compliance isn’t just meant for Russian companies. The document has been translated into English and can be used by any organisation associated with the digital environment.

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