Data as a Weapon

Data as a Weapon – Where Ethics and Commerce Intertwine

In News by olga

Recently it was announced that TalkTalk has become the latest high profile tech company to face a security breach, which lead to a few customers losing a few thousand pounds each.

TalkTalk a victim of online hackers

TalkTalk has over four million customers, admitted that it had been a victim of online hackers after complaints circulated online from affected customers. The reason that TalkTalk gave was that a third party contractor’s security arrangements had been breached.

Other victims of hacking too

TalkTalk isn’t the only company to have faced an embarrassing security breach; eBay, Sony and others have also recently been victims of online hackers using data as a weapon. It’s fair to say that data is the most important asset to any business but it’s up to companies to make sure that it is used responsibly and remains secure at all times.

Data collection online

Today our data is constantly being collected online through the use of cookies, which brands use to create personalised mail and re-targeted ads that follow our very footsteps. With brands becoming increasingly reliant on our data, it is essential that they take an ethical approach to collecting and using it .

Responsible data usage

It could be said that the companies that are trusted the most are the ones that use data to provide a better experience for their customers. For example, brands like Netflix and Spotify have both been praised for collecting relevant data and making it beneficial to the customer through the provision of personalised recommendations. Companies like this that use data responsibly make customers feel like they really care and are therefore able to win their loyalty.

Below here at Baker Goodchild we’ve shared some of the key principals that we believe brands need to follow in order to use data ethically:

1. Be transparent – If a customer knows where their personal data is going and how it will be used then they will be more willing to hand it over. A study by Gigya found that 60% of young Brits are happy to share their data if the brand makes it clear why they want it. Be transparent and be honest.

2. Keep it relevant – Only ask customers questions that are relevant. If you ask them too many questions or ask them to fill in lengthy forms, they’re unlikely to oblige. If an answer to your question won’t help you provide them with better value, then don’t ask it.

3. Give consumers a reason to share their data – According to Gigya 84% of 18 – 34 year olds are happy to share their personal data via social logins, as long as they have a ‘decent value exchange.’ This basically means that they need to get something out of it in return.

Don’t use data as a weapon but instead as something that will help you build a better relationship with your customers. Providing your use of data benefits both parties, your ethical strategy will be a success.

We hope you’ve enjoyed this article, Baker Goodchild are here to help with all your data cleansing and quality issues. Why not give us a call?

Image Credit: perspec_photo88