Director Digital Customer
„A purpose-led, transparent customer data strategy that explains the benefit of collecting data in a meaningful and secure way, using a certified technology stack, is paramount. This helps prevent more and more consumers enforcing their digital disconnect.”
How can we have a robust data-driven world that defends privacy, reinforces trust, and distributes value equitably between consumers and businesses?
"Let me share with you some insights and thoughts on this highly complex topic. Billions of digital footprints exist today with a rising trend. It has become apparent that our collective futures will very likely be more data driven. Numerous mechanisms work to identify consumers, follow their digital footprints, deliver better experiences to them, and connect them with businesses. These mechanisms also feed a marketing and advertising economy geared around gaining a more granular view of the consumers they are trying to reach. But the cost is high: the mechanisms of collecting consumer data have enabled fraud, influenced campaigns, and geopolitical manipulation. And therefore, governments increasingly regulate data-driven businesses trying to protect consumers from the big data krakens."
(points of evidence: Issie Lapowsky, Wired, March 17, 2019. United States vs. Google LLC., Case 1:20-cv-03010, filed 20.10.2020)
Aren’t the steps that governments take on behalf of society and for protecting individuals already moving into the right direction?
"They do – partially. Refining laws and regulations tends to alienate companies and consumers, given the fact that fines for extravagating the law are significant, while regulations are of complex nature and leave room for interpretation, in some cases, because they are still missing a clear perspective on IT solutions. Therefore businesses, no matter the size or industry, that intend to start or extend data-driven business models are facing higher degrees of uncertainty the more data they want to collect to create superior experiences for their consumers."
But isn’t the consumer in the end feeling more secure to share their data feeling protected by law?
"In a maturing digital society, consumers are becoming more mature in understanding how their data is being used. Built-in Digital Services, e.g. on general search services, search advertising, behavioral tracking, etc. are coming under greater scrutiny as users are more aware of how their data is driving opaque markets. Purposeless data collections raise a feeling of imbalance where businesses benefit more from the exchange of personal data."
(point of evidence: Deloitte Connectivity and Mobile Trends Survey, 2019)
So, what is your view on overcoming these issues?
"How can businesses, people and governments come together to create a better data-driven future for everyone? How can they agree on shared principles for society? And how can businesses use data to create greater value and transparency accelerating economic recovery while laying new foundations for a thriving future? Governments need to come up with more transparent, understandable, secure and predictable regulations to help businesses and their consumers establish a trustful and lawful relationship. Today’s Marketing and CRM technology landscape is transforming towards that same goal, providing businesses with better transparency on where traces of their consumers digital footprints are kept, stored, analyzed, retained and deleted, accessed and exported at any time. Technology vendors will consider appliable law and provide solutions committing to required regulations and data privacy. A purpose-led and transparent customer data strategy that explains the benefit of collecting the data in a meaningful and secure way, using an adequate and certified technology stack, is paramount and helps prevent more and more consumers enforcing their digital disconnect with the brand."
Can you share your recommendations for companies facing these challenges?
"In our experience, if the related processes and systems from front to backend are not considered early enough, implementing lawful data strategies has a high impact on time and cost. Main areas where we often see companies underestimating the negative impact on lead times as well as cost:
Legal clarity: obtaining clear internal decisions and companywide standards and policies for legal, risk & security related topics around customer interaction data treatment.
Data management & architecture: uncertainty due to lacking experience in storing and processing customer data in the cloud, data access & portability, deleting & locking customer data, etc.
Technical enablement: required changes to terms and policies related to data privacy need to be updated in systems, applications and documents, e.g. web CMS, contract databases, etc.
We recommend developing a clear focus on customer value, and rather prevent undifferentiated and technology-driven customer data collection. This can ease the work of legal advisors to define transparent and comprehensible policies and standards and help to anticipate the necessary adjustments in relevant processes and systems. Technology must be leveraged to preserve consumers’ trust by ensuring transparent consent treatment and delivering data-driven moments that matter."