It’s not just your consumer’s responsibility to protect their personal data, but yours too. Everyone is in on the conversation of data privacy; if you don’t make it a priority, then you risk losing your consumer’s trust.
With the rise of online services and the ever-growing move to a digital world, consumer concerns over data privacy and how businesses handle their information have risen.
People are no longer comfortable sharing their personal information now that they’re more aware of its value and potential misuse. A McKinsey survey discovered that 87 per cent of consumers say they would not do business with a company if they had concerns about its security practices. In comparison, 71 per cent said they would stop doing business with a company if it gave away sensitive data without permission.
The need for transparency into how data is collected, shared and used is in hot focus for businesses to be more accountable—likewise, consumers need more control over data consent. In the last few years, governments have become more involved in regulating data collection and protecting consumers’ privacy rights. Regulatory restrictions like the EU’s GDPR and recently the state of California’s CCPA provide more updated frameworks aimed at protecting consumer data.
Being compliant with an ever-changing regulator landscape while maintaining trust with your consumers is challenging. In comparison to the damage, mishandling of personal data can be a costly reputational fallout. The opportunities beyond being compliant have far greater value for your business.
Let’s look at why you need to prioritise data protection and consumers’ privacy to build better trust.
Seeing the advantages of making data protection a priority
Being transparent gives you a competitive advantage
Every company understands the importance of consumer data, but not many seem to understand prioritising how they collect, share and use personal data is just as important. Instead, it is treated as a checkbox exercise to meet industry regulatory requirements and show compliance.
Your business’s ability to remain competitive with industry peers is crucial to its survival. Of the companies that took part in a Cisco survey, 97 per cent stated they had seen benefits like a competitive advantage or investor appeal from investing in privacy.
Protecting personal data supports innovation
Elizabeth Denham, Information Commissioner at the ICO, in her keynote speech at the data and the future of financial services 2021 conference, reminds us that, “[a]t its core, data protection is about trust. It has always been about trust. Data protection law was born in the 1970s out of a concern that the potential from emerging technology would be lost if we didn’t embrace innovation. That link with trust remains today. The data-driven innovations you are planning will only work if people are willing to share their data with you, trusting it will be used fairly.”
Many still see privacy as something that gets in the way of innovation, but the opposite is proven to be true. If you’re in the business of providing products/solutions/services that follow a customer-first approach, then consumer trust is central to your brand. Columbus CEO Thomas Honore writing for MicroscopeUK, highlights that “[d]ata is your most powerful tool for driving disruption and innovation, not only by providing insights but also by giving you direction.”
A proactive approach to data protection is key to maintaining trust. It is a worthwhile investment that many industry leaders understand the value of prioritising data privacy. Forty-two per cent of companies surveyed for a Cisco report said that investing in privacy has enabled agility and innovation in their organisations.
Responsible data protection builds trust and understanding
Gathering personal data is valuable and helps your business better connect with the ideal consumer, as it allows you to understand your consumers.
Having strong security controls and being upfront with consumers about how you protect their data will build trust. PWC research on Americans and privacy found that 81 per cent of surveyed consumers say the potential risks they face from data collection by companies outweigh the benefits. Additionally, 84 per cent of consumers for a Salesforce survey said they are more loyal to companies with strong security controls.
What concerns do your customers have about the handling of their personal data?
Consumers are demanding more be done particularly in the way their information is used, handled and shared or in some cases without their knowledge. Trusting companies with their personal data is now a source of hesitation for a lot of consumers.
They are most concerned with:
The rise of data breaches
Data breaches are a consumer’s top concern about the handling of their personal data. Their fears are not unfounded. Over the last few years in America alone, the RSA reported that 45 per cent of consumers had their personal information compromised by a data breach.
A lack of control
Consumers are much more aware of how valuable their personal data is to a business. As a result, they are now more conscious about who they share it with and how much. In the PwC research into Americans and Privacy, 81 per cent of consumers feel they have little control over data collected about them by companies while only 10 per cent of consumers feel they have total control over their personal information.
Therefore, prioritising privacy and implementing data protection processes and procedures is vital on both sides. It upholds an honest approach that meets your consumers’ data management expectations. Likewise, being upfront by informing them about why and what data you’re requesting will empower them to make an informed decision whether to share.
How Yoti can help build trust on both sides
Businesses are required to collect certain information about their consumers to be compliant. As such, your consumers have to feel secure when sharing personal data. That is why we build our solutions with privacy in mind; Encouraging personal data ownership is a core ethic of our seven ethical principles. We give consumers a privacy-friendly way of verifying their identity details.
Our Digital ID app helps your consumers share only the details you need and nothing more. As privacy is a priority, our Digital ID app helps your business protect personal data. This is done by us ensuring to:
- Encrypt your consumer’s personal data separately to protect against privacy breaches and cyber attacks. We split up their personal data, encrypt it and securely store it on our databases.
- Only allow the user access to their encrypted details. The key to unlocking it is all stored safely on their phone. They are the only ones who can unlock the app with a five-digit PIN or biometric. We call this activating the master key. This master key is stored on your phone and is the only way of pulling together your attributes and turning them into readable text. Yoti also encrypts your master key for extra security.
- Request what details you need. Consumers only share specific information rather than all of their data. Like you, the app gives businesses the ability only to request what personal information you need from them and is a sure way to build trust on both sides.
- To make sure we’re accountable and continue to build solutions with privacy and security at the centre, we take regular guided advice from our Guardian Council, an independent board of expert professionals and dedicated advisors from data privacy, human rights, online harms and last-mile technology sectors.
Our digital footprints will continue to grow the more we embrace technology. While many consumers are getting to grips with it and aim to take control of their personal data, keeping their data secure is at the heart of a customer-first approach. The better we are at protecting our consumer’s personal information, the easier it will be to share it with trust securely.