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Chief Trust Officers

The Job

Job duties for chief trust officers vary by employer, but most CTOs have the following major areas of focus: data management/privacy, data breach preparation and response, customer relationships, employee hiring and retention, and environmental, social, and governance activities. In regard to data management/privacy, CTOs audit existing company policies and develop new ones to ensure that the financial data and personal information of customers and vendors are protected from hackers. They also create or update policies regarding the appropriate use of customer information and share these policies with customers to be transparent and build trust. The chief trust officer works with chief information security officers, risk managers, and others to identify and improve weak areas in data security. When a data breach occurs, they quickly inform customers and other stakeholders about the breach and address the issue as promptly as possible.

Chief trust officers also focus on the relationship between the business and its customers. In addition to data privacy and security issues, CTOs assess and work to improve areas where trust could be lost between customers and the business. For example, they study how products and services are ordered by and delivered to customers, as well as assess the quality of customer service and interactions at a company’s retail locations. They make improvements to ordering and fulfillment systems, customer service practices, and other red-flag areas, if necessary.

Chief Trust Officers help develop ethical policies aligned with company and employee values. Doing so often creates a more productive work environment, which increases the likelihood that the company can attract and retain quality workers. It also sends a message to existing and potential customers, other stakeholders, and the general public that the company cares about corporate ethics, workplace diversity, environmental protection, and related issues. Many customers are more likely to purchase a company’s products or services if its policies are in line with their own personal beliefs.

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