Telephone privacy has become a big topic of discussion, thanks to the revelations that the National Security Agency (News - Alert) (NSA) has been storing and using the telephone data of its citizens for some time.
Currently, the NSA grabs call records from telephone companies and stores them for five years in case the data is useful for terrorism and related investigations.
The NSA claims most of this data goes unused, and when it is used, only the relevant information is pulled out of the system. This sounds suspiciously like false promises meant to pacify those concerned about their privacy, however, which is why public outcry has caused a change in tact from the administration.
Due to the public outcry against the privacy violation, President Obama has said he wants to move the telephone data out of government hands.
This bothers just about everyone, however. Privacy advocates think this is still not enough, and the government should not even be able to pull such data. Operators object to the possibility that they might be required to store all the data that used to be kept by the government, and besides this is not even a viable option since most do not have the data-sifting capabilities of the NSA. Security-minded firms and politicos say that the current system should not change because while it is a slight invasion of privacy, it is worth the trade due to the safety it brings.
All the attention also threatens the data collection practices of the contact center. With privacy advocates woken up to the fact that telephone records are being stored, it is a quick jump to also realize that millions of calls each year are stored in their entirety through the use of call recording.
The contact center should take this threat seriously. As of now, there is no big move to do away with call recordings. But such outcry could happen, and the contact center industry needs to make sure call recording is not curtailed.
That’s because call recording is more important than ever for the contact center. Cheap storage has meant that call recordings now can be archived and easily accessed, and advanced speech analytics have made such recordings more valuable than ever.
With a good call recording setup, contact centers can both discover what the customer wants and what the agent needs in terms of training and improvement. They are an increasingly valuable tool for iterative business change, and a training boon.
To lose that resource would be a blow to the industry, so the contact center needs to make sure that the furor over NSA monitoring does not spread to call recording.
Edited by Alisen Downey