Let’s suppose for a moment your company was under audit for consumer data privacy protections. How would it perform?
This is, perhaps, less farfetched than you may think; imagine an accountability test or digital equivalent of a health and sanitation audit for a restaurant, a tax audit, or any other audit for regulatory compliance. While digital privacy regulations are hardly well defined today, efforts are already well underway across industry, government, and third party associations. From the FTC’s Report on Privacy & Security in the Internet of Things, to the Online Trust Alliance’s Honor Roll, to the Obama Administration’s Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights, there is considerable discussion, research, testing, even legal sanction taking place today.
So, this begs the question: how would your business fare in an audit addressing consumers’ top privacy concerns?
Yes, people still care about privacy
Remember, privacy isn’t exclusively the concern of the elderly or a non-factor for millennials. Privacy, or the desire of an individual or group to seclude themselves, information about themselves, and thereby express themselves selectively, is innately human.
Survey reveals tremendous gap between consumer concerns and business practices
In a survey of more than 2000 Americans conducted in June of 2015, Altimeter Group found that consumers are decidedly anxious about the manner and location in which companies are using (and selling) their data. Some 70-80% of respondents rated the following as very or extremely concerning.
It isn’t just the ‘how’ of data use that concerns the American public, it’s also the where
Location-based services (and context) are an increasingly definitive part of the way companies engage their customers through the mobile and sensor-driven technologies that comprise the Internet of Things.
From public spaces to marketplaces, from the car to the body, this survey found that about half of all consumers are highly uncomfortable with companies using and selling data collected from any physical environment. Across the board, consumers are less comfortable with the selling of their data than its mere use; Some 45% of all respondents report they are “very or extremely uncomfortable” with companies using their data. Roughly 60% of all respondents report such heightened discomfort in the sharing/selling of their data.
Areas of greatest concern include the use and sales of data generated from, or associated with:
Consumers also prioritize explicit notification of the collection of their data in the home and public marketplaces, but at least of respondents report notification is ‘very or extremely important’ across all areas.
In addition to the desire to be notified, the survey also found consumers are interested in learning more about the use of their data-- some 45% expressed this desire. Instead of sidestepping the topic, companies must realize this is an invitation for engagement.
Top digital privacy concerns highlight key gaps in business communications
Given the concerns outlined above, how much is your business doing to address these concerns? What sorts of safeguards (technical, infrastructural, legal), what sort of governance, and what mechanisms for communications do you have in place today?
These are just a few of the critical questions businesses must be asking as, increasingly, they rely on data for monetization and innovation of new products and services. Companies collecting, using, monetizing, and storing data— fast becoming the de facto for any business— can no longer afford to ignore the issue of data privacy.
It’s time for a sober assessment of both consumers’ concerns around the use of their data, and what companies are doing to address such concerns. How would your company fare against these criteria?
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As part of our open research process, I would like to extend an invite for your input, feedback, case examples, or any other insights you’d like to contribute to our upcoming research around the Internet of Things.
Your refrigerator has a message for you — and no, it’s not that you need more orange juice– it’s an ad for belly fat pills. Thanks, Refrigerator. This post was originally posted on Wearable World News. The original can be found here.
At the most basic level, the Internet of Things (IoT) is connectivity between people, processes and things. While this is as vast as it sounds — spanning all industries, the enterprise, and consumers — one of the central-most challenges facing…