Art collectors: how secure is your data?

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Martin Hartley

Art collectors who have documented their collections in the cloud need to be alert to the possibility of data breaches. That is the view of Martin Hartley, executive vice president and chief operating officer of US-based member-owned PURE insurance.

“We’re working to help collectors document and manage their collections and the value of their collections. In that context we are looking at collection management systems and trying to help our members make the right choices on how to document and manage their art,” he said.

“This raises some questions that around cyber security. Clearly there are lots of data breaches at present and we are very aware that our members are exposed to that risk if they have documented their collection extensively and that information is held in the cloud.”

PURE is currently evaluating art collection management systems to assess the efficacy of their security measures, including the security of the storage units they are using.

Another key question is who owns the data. Collectors need to be aware that if this is not properly addressed in the contract, the data may find its way into the hands of third parties.

“It’s a matter of evaluating the contractual arrangement when you start storing your data in the cloud through a particular service and asking, who owns that data? If that firm is sold, are they going to take that data and mine it or is it yours? That is another key area that we are looking into at the moment.”