Watson's Data Policy

IBM has been in the business of building machines that help humans improve the accuracy, efficiency and productivity of their work for more than 100 years. And we’ve made measurable improvements to many of the systems that facilitate life on this planet. But we’ve never known a technology that can have a greater benefit to all of society than cognitive computing.

Cognitive computing’s ability to transform vast amounts of complex, ambiguous information into insight has the potential to reveal long-held secrets and solve some of the world’s most enduring problems. It can help us cure disease, predict the weather, and manage the global economy. It is an undeniably powerful tool. And like all powerful tools, great care must be taken in its development and deployment.

To reap the societal benefits of cognitive, we will first need to trust it. We have created a system of best practices that guide the safe and ethical management of Watson (IBM’s leading cognitive computing capabilities); a system that includes contracts and disclosures that help foster full transparency; a strategy that reflects our compliance with existing legislation and policy; and a framework that protects privacy and personal data.

Data Ownership
You are not required to relinquish rights to your data in order to have the benefits of IBM’s Watson solutions and services. IBM offers customers a variety of options to meet customer needs, which would include the isolation of your data and the unique insights derived from your data. IBM will not share unique insights derived from your data without your agreement. Of course, IBM neither owns nor stores all of the data touched by Watson solutions and services. When you acquire IBM Watson capabilities on the IBM Cloud, you will have the ability to combine your data sets with other IBM owned, licensed or public data sets to yield even more valuable insights.

Security & Encryption
IBM employs industry leading security procedures to safeguard data that interacts with the IBM Watson platform services. This includes, use of encryption, access control methodologies and proprietary consent management modules, which allow us to move or code data to restrict access to authorized users and to de-identify and use data in accordance with applicable permissions.

IBM makes clear when and for what purposes your data is being applied in the cognitive solutions we develop and deploy. This may include the major sources of data and expertise that inform the insights of cognitive solutions we develop, as well as the general methods used to train our cognitive platform and solutions. Third party or licensed data will be clearly identified. Our customers own their own data and business methods and when they use Watson to enhance the advantages they have built, often through years of experience, those unique insights are their competitive advantage.

Consent & Limited Use
IBM agreements are transparent as well. We will not use your data unless you consent to such use and then we will limit that use to the specific uses clearly described in the agreement. In addition, IBM will not share unique insights derived from your data without your agreement. IBM will return or destroy client content at request of client or at the end of the cloud service.