Attention business people! We have a problem. OK, many of us have more than one, but the one to which I refer is pretty important so listen up. In short, our customers don’t trust us. Think I’m kidding?
The latest Pew study is out and as the release about it said:
In the almost two years that have passed since the initial Snowden (former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden) revelations, the public has been awash in news stories detailing security breaches at major retailers, health insurance companies and financial institutions. These events and the doubts they have inspired have contributed to a cloud of personal “data insecurity” that now looms over many Americans’ daily decisions and activities. Many find these developments deeply troubling and want limits put in place, while some do not feel these issues affect them personally.
Some may not feel that but the vast majority do. Most folks believe it is important that they be able to maintain privacy and confidentiality in commonplace activities of their lives. Most strikingly, these views are especially pronounced when it comes to knowing what information about them is being collected and who is doing the collecting. Compare that belief with the data:
- 76% of adults say they are “not too confident” or “not at all confident” that records of their activity maintained by the online advertisers who place ads on the websites they visit will remain private and secure.
- 69% of adults say they are not confident that records of their activity maintained by the social media sites they use will remain private and secure.
- 66% of adults say they are not confident that records of their activity maintained by search engine providers will remain private and secure.
- 66% say they are not confident that records of their activity collected by the online video sites they use will remain private and secure.
So what can you do right now to help? Be transparent about what you’re collecting and why. Don’t bury that information in your Terms of Service. Explain who has access to the data, how it is shared (or not) with business partners, how long it’s retained, and offer to present the user with a copy of everything you have. Most importantly, to the extent you can, allow the customers to opt-in and explain why that’s a good thing for them. Turns out it just might be a good thing for your business too.
Do you do business with people you don’t trust? Why should your customers?