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Want Better Data? Focus on Building Trust

Alex Ross
Content Marketing Manager
September 28, 2021

“57% [of people] believe government leaders, business chiefs, and journalists are spreading falsehoods or exaggerations. Disintegrating societal trust combined with tightening privacy laws will make trust a primary focus for the analytics industry… This new and important role of trust requires businesses to rethink their metrics - maybe even their purpose - as consumers better understand the value of their real-time data and require a higher level of accountability from the companies seeking to use it.” 

        Sally Dominguez, Futurist, Sustainable Resilience Expert and 10XInnovation Strategist

        Excerpt from Future Insight: A Vision into the Future of Data Analytics

Last week, Apple rolled out its iOS 15 update with a large emphasis on privacy. Unfortunately, for email marketers, this means less visibility into one of the most used engagement metrics, open rate, on all updated Apple devices. 

This push for more consumer privacy has been in motion for a while, in Apple’s iOS 14.5 update they gave users the power to opt-in to mobile app tracking. And in 2019, Google announced they would phase out third-party cookies in Chrome by 2022 (now delayed to 2023). All efforts to give consumers more control over their data. 

The need for increased privacy controls isn’t without cause. 81% of Americans report having little to no control over the data businesses collect. And 59% have little to no knowledge of what businesses do with that information. 

Privacy is a huge concern for consumers and businesses alike, but for businesses that are making data-profitable decisions, more privacy means less insight. As third-party data becomes less available, collecting first-party data will become more important than ever before. However, there’s a lot more that goes into collecting data than simply putting a form on your website. You have to earn and keep consumer trust

How to Build Consumer Trust

1. Be Transparent

Transparency goes a long way in building trust. First things first; only collect the data you need. For the data you do collect, be transparent about how you plan on using it. Posting your data collection disclosure and privacy policies on your website is no longer enough these days. Tell consumers why you’re collecting their email, gender, birthday, or whatever it is, on the form itself (in clear non-technical language). And while you’re at it, ask for consent when collecting that data.

Be transparent about changes to data collection or privacy policies. Communicate clearly and quickly what’s changing and how it impacts customer data. Additionally, make sure you allow customers access to manage their data ongoing. Don’t make it difficult for customers to update their preferences or revoke consent. These are all small steps that can go a long way in building and maintaining trust with your customers. 

2. Be Private

If transparency is your way of showing you can be trusted, privacy is your way of proving it. Ensure your company has a strict and enforceable data governance framework. Since nearly one-third of breaches come from inside, it’s important to manage and monitor identity and access to customer data.  It’s also helpful to work with a third party to audit your security on a regular basis. This will help flag and fix potential threats to data privacy. 

Stay committed to your data privacy goals as a company. It should be ingrained in your culture. 

3. Be Human

Treat your customer information like it’s your own personal information. Convey how important data privacy is to you and go the extra mile to show it. Build “privacy-by-design” consumer-facing features like two-factor authentication, automatic timed logouts, and any other security feature you would enable for yourself. 

Keep reminding customers how important privacy is to your business, especially if you’ve dealt with a breach in the past. Building trust takes commitment, it’s not a one-and-done thing. Reiterate the importance of data privacy on a regular basis, so consumers know you’re still committed to it. 

How does the saying go? Trust takes years to build and seconds to break. Trust is one of those things organizations need to continue building. Making data-profitable decisions relies on the continuous collection of data and trust is a key component to that collection. 

Want to learn more about trust and the future of data? Click here to hear from industry experts on the future of data analytics. 

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