Consumers will share data - but companies should ask first

| Topic : Security and Compliance

Consumers will share data - but companies should ask first

Cash is becoming a thing of the past. Today, consumers seem much more likely to use a card, mobile phone or ecommerce channel to make a purchase than they are to pull dollar bills out of their wallets, and this is a good thing for businesses in many ways. For instance, since customers are using more electronic channels, it's simple for businesses to gather the information they need to gain important insights, drive marketing campaigns and more. However, if organizations want to leverage this information more effectively, they must keep privacy protection in mind.

Dark Reading noted that according to a new study conducted by Compass Intelligence for UnboundID, many shoppers have mixed feelings about giving away their personal information. The survey discovered that while customers are understanding of the fact that businesses want to use their data, 62 percent of respondents expect firms to ask permission before using their records, and 43 percent asserted that their opinions of a company would improve if they were given some control over how their information is shared. Forty-seven percent of those polled said that if they allowed personal records to be used, they should be compensated in the form of discounts.

"Many companies worry that if they give customers the chance to opt out, they will," said Steve Shoaff, CEO of UnboundID, the source reported. "However, these findings indicate that customers really want more control over how and when their data is used. By practicing the right kind of etiquette, companies will ultimately get better, more realistic data from their customers."

Experian emphasized that when it comes to analytics and marketing initiatives, organizations must be careful to toe the line between making helpful assessments based off customers' data and being intrusive. The source pointed out that InformationWeek has explained that while monitoring transactions can help thwart fraud and drive improvements to products and services, privacy protection should also be a top priority.

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