Daily Insights

Navigate Privacy Concerns By Tackling them Head-On

By: Andrew Marder | Feb 20, 2020

Apple doesn’t formally participate in the annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, but attendees would have found the brand hard to miss in 2019 due to a multi-story wall ad that read, “What happens on your iPhone stays on your iPhone.”

Apple’s ongoing play to consumer privacy comes at a time of eroding consumer trust in nearly every facet of life, including corporate brands. The combination of data ethics violations like the Cambridge Analytica scandal, and data breaches like Equifax, has led to increased sensitivity among consumers about what they share and how it’s used. The onus is on marketers to confront the reality of consumer data skittishness head-on.

Apple’s approach to iPhone data is to severely curtail its use in advertising. Not all brands have to take such a strong position when it comes to customer data use. There are, however, some minimum steps for navigating the current consumer privacy environment.

The first is to establish practices to comply with existing regulations and implement technology to help. Government policies differ by jurisdiction, and often lag consumer sentiment. Businesses must stay informed about their obligations. Technologies such as consumer consent and preference management platforms can help companies comply with regulations by capturing customer permissions and implementing them efficiently.

Second, marketers must understand their customer base and how different groups feel about privacy. Some customers may set a higher standard for some of their information, just as some customers will have different sensitivities. Companies that set clear data use boundaries based on customer attitudes can use their data standards as a differentiator in their market positioning.