Consumers are a business’ biggest asset, and they have the right to know what information is being collected about them. There’s a lot of misconstrued information currently and the perception that data provided is being misused and sold without their permission or knowledge. All this uncertainty has prompted consumers to question how their data is being collected, used and protected.
Why privacy matters
How you handle consumer data and their consent will affect your relationship with them and ultimately how you understand their behavior, especially since ways of identifying individuals with first-party and third-party cookies, as well as the IDFA (Apple’s Advertising Identifier) are changing.
To start your journey with compliance, see the world from the eyes of consumers. They have a physical notion of what privacy is. To them, it means having control over their information and the sole authority in giving permission to an organization. Right now, their perception of data privacy has been skewed. Stories in the media have sown suspicion into how businesses collect and use consumer data and consumers are led to believe that extricating themselves is entirely too complicated, if not virtually impossible. The knee-jerk reaction to data privacy has been “don’t spy on me.” Are they listening to my conversations, reading my texts and tracking my location?
How we got here
With the advent of Google’s and Facebook’s ability to capture so much consumer data and serve hyper-personalized ads over the past decade, consumers have questioned the overreach of tech giants. Recent large-scale data breaches by these companies haven’t helped either. Consumers don’t know who’s handling their data; and confusion and violations have led to the current regulatory landscape of mistrust. However, businesses need to think beyond compliance and use requesting consent to give consumers what they want—transparency.
Regulations—good intentions—but it’s complicated
Regulations are forcing businesses to put consumers first, and that’s not a bad thing. The intent is to give consumers easier control over their data. But what’s happened so far is a poor user experience that drives consumers to ignore consent prompts and click through to get to the content they want. While the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) is beginning to make waves in California, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in Europe has resulted in repeated consent pop-ups because consent must be requested at every touchpoint. Most would argue this is not serving consumers in the least.
CCPA alone has already undergone several amendments since it was passed. With at least 13 other states working on data privacy legislation, it’s nearly impossible to keep up with the regulatory landscape. Likewise, providing a positive consent experience without a multitude of requests has become all the more difficult.
Best practices for creating a positive consent experience
Businesses can use compliance as an opportunity to make data privacy and consent a positive experience for consumers. A few things to consider:
Talk to your legal department about how your business should request consent.
Know your data workflow: Do you know what kind of data you are collecting? Is it all necessary? Who are your partners? Be selective in what data you capture.
Research consent management tools. Tools such as Intelligent Consent ManagerTM help capture and manage consent even downstream regardless of platform (web or connected device), maintaining a user’s consent preferences as they move around, rather than pestering them with interruptive notices. With the regulatory climate subject to change, it’s the job of measurement providers such as Kochava to stay abreast of regulatory changes.
Work with only trusted partners; and ensure they are compliant and have no questionable practices.
Establish trust through your consent process. Make your policies clear and use compliance as an opportunity to educate your consumers and build trust.
Your consumers are your currency—you can’t afford to lose them
We are living in a consumer-first world, and now is the time to take a step back and let your consumers know that you respect and will protect their data. Eventually, as consent is baked into all websites, apps, connected TVs, OTT devices, gaming consoles, or any connected device, it will be an integral part of how you establish consumer identity. As more states move toward increased consent regulations in the U.S., we are heading toward a crossroads between consent and identity. With the limited existence of the third-party cookie, your first-party data just increased in value.
A privacy-first future
It would serve companies well to embrace data privacy as a way to strengthen their relationships with their customers, gain their trust—and in doing so—their consent. Users who have consented will be more valuable, as well as your inventory and user acquisition budget. In spite of the current climate of uncertainty about how GDPR, CCPA, and other upcoming regulations may affect business, you can act now to gain trust and consent and reward your consumers by offering a valuable product or service in return.