In recent years, the discussion on digital privacy has gathered steam. High-scale cyber thefts worth billions of dollars have opened the eyes of companies across industries. They now realize the need to take up preventive measures to fight this menace. According to the National Crime Record Bureau data, India recorded a total of 44,546 cybercrimes in 2020 compared to 28,248 in 2019, a growth of 63.5%.
Digital platforms, mainly social media platforms, have been getting a lot of flack recently. Research revealed that only 9% of users are confident that social media platforms will protect their data.
So, what can companies do to meet recommended digital privacy standards and ensure that they aren’t losing consumers in the long run?
1. Simplify contractual language statements.
Consumers need to click on the “I Agree” button before creating an account and using the website. The attached document contains essential points, terms, conditions, and clauses that explain what the users can do, what they can’t, and how they need to behave with others.
Governments worldwide have made it mandatory for companies to take the user’s permission before collecting their necessary details. But according to a study by Deloitte, over 90% of users accept the legal terms and conditions without even reading them once.
These statistics show that users don’t care about the troubles they might have to face if they don’t adhere to the legal contract.
So, to make things easy, instead of using precise legal language, use simple English statements, such as:
a. We don’t sell or share user data for monetary or other benefits.
b. We don’t share user data with anyone except the government.
c. You can contact us to change/delete your critical data at any time.
If you list the terms and conditions in a language that users understand, they will depend on you for safeguarding their digital privacy.
2. Care about digital privacy as much as your consumers do.
Companies don’t pay attention to executing a full-fledged cybersecurity mechanism. They place very little value on protecting user data. One of the reasons behind not meeting digital privacy requirements is its high cost of implementation.
To maintain a good reputation in the market, companies usually do the following:
a. Publish a list of data officers on their website.
b. Adhere to international government policies, such as GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation).
c. Match their digital privacy protection efforts to that of other competitors.
But that isn’t enough. A survey done by CISCO has found a new group of individuals, the privacy activists, who are highly concerned about their digital privacy. As a result, they switch to companies that adhere to better data and data-sharing policies.
This group is essential from a business perspective because they are affluent and mostly shop online. 27% of privacy activists view themselves as early tech adopters and spend a lot of time on social media and other digital platforms.
Here are some interesting statistics about the “privacy actives” group that you should know:
a. 62% of privacy actives are comfortable sharing their details in exchange for personalized products and services versus 32% of non-privacy actives.
b. 44% of privacy actives are open to sharing information from smart home speakers in exchange for security and health-related issues, versus 17% of non-privacy actives.
So, ask yourself the following questions:
a. Do you have a highly structured digital privacy plan?
b. Have you mentioned each detail transparently in the plan?
c. Do you conduct periodic surveys to determine your consumers’ needs?
People are becoming aware of cybersecurity thefts. If you cannot guarantee a safe and secure experience for consumers, you will lose them.
3. Collect only essential consumer information.
We live in an age driven by data where companies are eager to collect meaningful consumer information, such as their needs, wants, desires, ambitions, and past purchasing patterns. It’s because more data allows creating tailored products that have a high purchase potential. It also enables brainstorming marketing programs, email campaigns, and product suggestions that facilitate consumer movement through the sales cycle.
But remember that analyzing massive amounts of data and revealing valuable insights requires substantial investment in technology and a highly skilled IT team. Unfortunately, small companies lack the financial resources necessary to do that.
So, ask yourself the following questions:
a. Business Size — Are you a small and medium enterprise or a conglomerate?
b. Business Type — Are you a consumer-facing company, or have you outsourced relationship-building activities to a third party?
c. Business Expenses — Do you have the required financial resources to hire prominent data experts?
d. Business Audience — Do you develop products for everyone or a niche audience?
e. Business Touchpoint — Do you only operate a brick-and-mortar store or have an online presence too?
Answers to the above questions will help decide whether you should have a team of data science experts.
For example, if you are an SME with a niche audience, then you can skip the idea of having a team of data analysts.
Instead, you can implement Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software, Consumer Relationship Management (CRM) software, and Human Resource Management Systems (HRMS).
These software packages will collect essential consumer data, reveal hidden insights, and automate business processes. As you expand the business and become a market leader, you can assign data collection and analysis jobs to a particular team.
As a responsible organization, you must let your consumers know what you are doing with their data. People are becoming aware of the potential consequences of data thefts and are building pressure on companies to implement the best quality cybersecurity measures. There is a high probability that you might lose big clients if you fail to guarantee transparent operations. So, keep these points in mind to avoid consumers falling through the cracks of digital platforms.