Privacy Goes Public: Sharing Privacy for a Discount
Posted by Cole JonesDecember 24th, 2011 at 11:36 AM Filed Under Latest News
Privacy Goes Public: Sharing Privacy for a Discount
First things first – let’s get a little public with this privacy issue, shall we? For most people privacy starts where personal freedom ends. Yet there are many more complexities to the word, from personal snooping to sharing data online. Our focus today – sharing data and privacy. Consumers are concerned with privacy. True. But does that mean they are not willing to share it? False. Face it – as we continue to increase our social status as a global society, the more information we will inevitably share. Disturbing, right? It’s nothing new though. Who doesn’t own a loyalty card for a local grocery or retail store? Your data is held here and collected under your profile so they can ensure they offer products that fit your needs according to your shopping habits. Can we say “Facebook”? If you own a debit card, your bank knows your spending and buying patterns. Heck, they may know your habits better than you do. So, what is all the privacy fuss about?
Consumers willing to share for the exchange of discount, compensation & transparency
The problem does not rest so much with the ownership of the information that consumers share with the digital network, but rather in trusting what is done with that information. So, the privacy question for us within the NFC ecosystem is this – How can we keep privacy private while sharing private information to public entities? (Try saying that five times fast.) Let me share some light. In July 2011, a study of 6,525 global consumers released by McCann Worldgroup’s MCCann Truth Central states that consumers are most willing to share data with brands within the digital space. In the context of sharing data, one must dig a little deeper to understand how consumers categorize data into different areas such as shopping, location, personal, medical, and financial with various levels of concern for each type. The McCann Truth Central stated that:
- 71% of consumers are willing to share shopping data with a brand online.
- 86% of consumers see there are major benefits associated with sharing data with businesses online, and
- 65% see one of the top two benefits as better access to discounts and promotions.
Are you selling your privacy, and if so how much is it worth?
The Converged Lifestyle survey from accounting and consulting firm KPMG interviewed 9,600 consumers globally and revealed 52% of U.S consumers are willing to let advertisers track their usage patterns and personal information if they received lower product costs or free online content. The McCann identifies 65% of consumers as stating that they are aware of companies tracking online behaviors for marketing purposes. Internationally, the top three trusted brands are MasterCard, Visa and Microsoft. 69% of consumers globally look to banks to protect their personal data and use it safely. In knowing their information is protected, consumers also want to be compensated for the information they share. A reason to share data, and an understanding of how they will benefit is needed in exchange. For example, in the US the study tells us that Amazon is identified as the most trusted brand since consumers have the transparency, more than any other brand, to see how they use data to make relevant suggestions. In fact 72% of consumers trust the brand to protect their privacy and data and use it wisely. Of the 6,525 consumers interviewed:
- 48% said they would share location data where
- 39% said they would share personal data
- 31% said they want a clear understanding of how permitting a company access to their data will benefit them
Let’s think of it as a two way street, consumers are willing to share more personal information in exchange for benefits, but they need the confirmation of transparency in return for their data.
The Opportunity of Privacy for NFC
Ok, so what does the whole privacy issue mean for NFC? Opportunity. From the data above consumers are becoming more comfortable with having their privacy activity/data tracked online, but there remains varied levels of concern with its usage. If organizations add some benefit or compensation of some sort, there exists progress towards alleviating consumers’ concerns. NFC is most effective when it successfully satisfies its targeted consumer needs. Satisfaction results in loyalty, retention and positive reviews. Just as an organization with the ecosystem data is your most valuable asset, having access to consumer data provides opportunities to improve the brand and marketing strategies. Within these opportunities new business models are emerging that can generate new revenue streams. The key to these emerging business models is gaining access to privacy with permission, which results in an asset that can be packaged and sold legally.
Privacy wall – information for information exchange, fits with the NFC model
For example, one approach mentioned in a KPMG article that is gaining ground in the market is to develop what is called a “Privacy Wall” that requires consumers/users to register (often free) in order to access the product, content or services. From an NFC perspective, I would reassure to consumers how their privacy information is protected and how it will be used to improve the product or service, thus creating transparency. It’s apparent the more “specific” data we can collect the more valuable the information becomes. Hence, I would also encourage the consumer to share information and make active use of the product/service. In return, consumers will receive anything from discounts, compensation and most importantly a product/service tailored to their specific need. That’s all consumer really wants in the end. The benefit to the organization, the ability to tie consumer data into business intelligence, digital tracking and audience segmentation. Many companies have began to identify how they can use their findings to not only drive new revenue, but also to tailor their services to individual customers. Tudor Aw, KPMG’s Head of Technology for Europe, states, “Companies that accurately track and manage their customer information are increasingly looking to monetize their data assets by selling their finds to others…” The data provided must be “compelling” while maneuvering consumer privacy concerns. Without this privacy, any consumer would feel their data has been violated, and that is when it becomes personal.