Whilst it’s often an afterthought, concerns over data privacy are becoming more and more commonplace amongst consumers. In fact, 92% of consumers want better control of their data and 89% are uncomfortable with third-party tracking (source).
Those are staggering numbers, but it’s hardly surprising considering the day-to-day invasions that consumers are becoming aware of and the high-profile cases such as the Facebook-Cambridge Analytica scandal of 2018.
Plus, the regulations have (and are) tightening; GDPR in the EU, CCPA in California and others across the US in the pipeline. These new regulations put the responsibility with the data controllers and processors and force transparency.
It’s not just legal regulations that are tightening, though. Browsers like Google Chrome are becoming more stringent on their requirements for long-term cookies (often used for tracking across multiple sessions and websites). And they’re making it harder to fingerprint a user based on data from their computers/phones. However, these regulations will hit the small guys the hardest. Integrations like Google Analytics will see little change because they have swamped the market. Google Analytics is being used by more than half of the websites on the internet (source)!
It’s hard for anyone to comprehend the power of data. The insights and extrapolations that can be generated given enough data are extraordinary, and the applications are seemingly endless (especially with the ongoing rise of machine learning systems). This is the reason it is so important to protect people’s data - we understand its value and should ensure that we give it the necessary respect and only collect and store what is needed.
In the end, consumers expect privacy. As they browse, they don’t expect their mouse movements to be recorded, their details collected without submitting a form or for tens of third-parties to be tracking their every click. It is this expectation that is so important and is the reason that delivering privacy is vital.
In a future post, we’ll be covering what solution providers and retailers can do to ensure they deliver the privacy that consumers want.