People the world over are up in arms over the lack of privacy individuals have in the digital age. And while some of what they are saying gets lost in translation, it ultimately boils down to the fact that it seems that no matter what we do, someone is watching us – whether that be the government, the banks, or advertisers.
What ever happened to privacy, anyway?
As marketers, we want data. To get that data, we take advantage of new technologies that collect that data from consumers, sometimes safely and other times a little less so.
We might say we care about privacy, but we’ll do almost anything to get data if we think it will help improve our numbers. And so we easily cross that moral line in the name of personal success.
Should we care more than we do?
I think the answer is yes. We should care because we are in the business of trust. If consumers can’t trust us, can’t trust what we’re telling and selling them, then we have no chance of success. And collecting data we have no right to is a surefire way to lose their trust.
How do we keep the trust?
I don’t mean to say we should stop collecting and using the data available to us. That would be a far greater sacrifice than is necessary. But we should be clear with people what data we collect and why. There are benefits for consumers when we collect their data. And they should know what they’re getting out of the deal as well, so that they can make the right decision about whether to share that information or not.