Tuesday, 7 April 2015

Tick to Agree

Do our customers really trust that we do the right things for the right reasons when it comes to their data?  The digital economy is founded upon data that belongs to our customers. We may source it, store it, aggregate  it, make sense of it, commercialise it... yet if we share it just how informed should the consent be from the people who own it?

We've witnessed tiny tremors that have been described in the media as a backlash; though in the scheme of things the customer reaction was nothing more than tomorrow's chip paper.  Sony may have lost a heap of credit card numbers but its customers were soon distracted by a free game to download; Google may be evil but their customers don't have time to search for a new search engine; Facebook may have the right to replace you with a substitute human should your own life become too dull but their customers want to know when their friends are drunk. (There may be some artistic licence at work here I admit :)

The fact is that to date nothing has occurred that has truly caused a customer backlash in the way in which we organisations trade their data. Even the most outraged, moralistic, educated and knowledgeable customer still ticks the terms and conditions box without instructing a lawyer. They still swipe their loyalty card at the checkout to buy the newspaper with the headlines about the latest data privacy breach. And they still send emails and check the adverts specially tailored for them that magically appear. 

We wouldn't give our customer's money away quite so nonchalantly; so is doing the right thing with their data treating it in the same manner?  Rather than getting our customers wrapped up in 56 pages of terms and conditions written by the legal department on how we intend to use their data it would seem much fairer that our marketing department wrote our key terms. The same points on how we source it, store it, aggregate it, make sense of it, commercialise it - written in easy to understand bullets. 

If we start being transparent with our customers about our role in the use of their data we may have to rethink our data strategy. How we commercialise their data; what, how and when we share may have to be done in more innovative and customer centric ways. 

The alternative is that we continue to ride on the wave of customer apathy.  We can continue to tell customers that we might do bad things, on purpose or by accident, with their data but never mind because you agreed we could. 

Over the next 5-10 years the tide is turning and the wave of apathy will come crashing down. Simply with the amount of data we will hold and the value it contains, the organisation who doesn't treat their customer's data like their customer's money will be the one to drown. 

Now is the time to start building our customer's trust by doing the right things for the right reasons when it comes to their data.

Read my other posts
Just in Case - From early adoption to maturity
I have control - Can we truly own our identity
Tipping the balance - Getting the right balance between security and user experience
I didn't say you could touch me - Biometric authentication and identity
You don't need to tell me - Impacts of the EU General Data Protection Regulations
Coming together on being alone - The need for a clear government digital strategy
I'm not the person I used to be - Authentication for real world identities
Distributed Identity has no clothes - Will distributed ledger technology solve identity
Bring Your Own Downfall - Why we should embrace federated identity
Unblocking Digital Identity - Identity on the Blockchain as the next big thing
The Kids Are All Right - Convenient authentication: the minimum standard for the younger generation
The ridiculous mouse - Why identity assurance must be a rewarding experience for users
Big Brother's Protection - How Big Brother can protect our privacy
I don't know who I am anymore - How to prove your identity online
Three Little Words - What it means for your business to be agile
Defining the Business Analyst - Better job descriptions for Business Analysis
Unexpected Customer Behaviour -  The role of self-service in your customer service strategy
Rip it up and start again - The successful Business Transformation
Too Big To Fail - Keeping the heart of your business alive
The upstarts at the startups - How startups are changing big business 
One Small Step - The practice of greatness
In pursuit of mediocrity - Why performance management systems drive mediocrity

About me
Bryn Robinson-Morgan is an independent Business Consultant with interests in Identity Assurance, Agile Organisational Design and Customer Centric Architecture.  Bryn has near 20 years experience working with some of the United Kingdom's leading brands and largest organisations.

Follow Bryn on Twitter: @No1_BA

Connect with Bryn on Linked In: Bryn Robinson-Morgan

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