The State Of Consumer Data Privacy In 2020

The last few years have seen a steady coming of age in consumers and regulators in matters of data privacy. With moves like CCPA, GDPR, and the death of third party cookies as well as IDFA opt-in on the way for iOS14, regulators and platforms have aligned themselves with the growing demand among new-age consumers to find the perfect balance between data protection and personalization. This has forced brands and marketers to rethink their consumer data and intelligence sources, models, and platforms. What does this rethinking entail? 

The data privacy landscape is changing. Brands must quickly reframe to a privacy-first mindset.

The digital age – clearly not entirely prepared for the proliferation of data – has seen some high profile data breaches. These breaches have not gone unnoticed by lawmakers, regulators and by consumers. On one hand, they have accelerated the pace at which lawmakers take action. In the past, consumers would usually be unaware of how their data was used or they wouldn’t hold brands to ethical standards. But recent headlines on privacy breaches and regulatory actions are also ensuring the evolution of consumers’ mindset.  A McKinsey survey revealed that consumers are becoming far more intentional about what data they share with brands. Simultaneously, security company RSA reported last year that consumers continue to hold brands to a high bar and expect them to engineer ethical ways to leverage consumer intelligence to deliver high levels of contextualization and personalization.

What this means is that the privacy ecosystem on the whole – from regulators to lawmakers, brands to consumers – is constantly evolving. What started as a response to one-off but significant breaches are now causing entire businesses to become more responsible with consumer privacy and data. This, alongside large volumes of data being generated – 1.7 megabytes per second per person by the end of 2020 – is putting unprecedented pressure on businesses to prevent ill-intentioned access to the consumer data they collect and analyse for data-driven decision making. Naturally, privacy mindset needs to be integrated into business DNA. If brands want to retain the trust of digital natives, they need to re-look at their data and insight platforms and ensure that each touchpoint is aligned with not only regulatory mandates but also with rapidly evolving consumer expectations. Regulatory moves may be able to ensure certain standards for brands to live up to. But consumers’ needs continue to evolve to the perfect combination of empathy, trustworthiness, and contextualization. This means that businesses must ramp up on the go, keeping in pace with changing privacy  landscape..

Marketing in times of privacy – a reliable data partner can go a long way.

Privacy compliant data and ethical insight and technology partners can go a long way in preparing marketers to thrive in this new landscape. What do such partners bring to the table? Privacy-first mindset, to begin with. They should be able bridge the business needs of brands and evolving privacy needs of regulators and customers to deliver the best outcomes. These partners must also be sufficiently agile and pivot quickly and continuously to address key risk indicators of information security. 

This is where data-rich and privacy-centric consumer data and intelligence platforms can make a significant impact. Reliable data partners not only secure consumer data and prevent any potential breaches, they also deliver complete transparency in how they collect data, what kinds of consumer data they collect, and how they process and use it. Beyond just following regulations, reliable consumer intelligence platforms are ethical and transparent about what information they share with brands and partners. Anonymized and aggregated insights are a given, and consumers are made aware – proactively – how their data and insights are being used.

Most importantly, reliable data and consumer intelligence platforms evolve – continuously – in pace with digital natives. Digital natives who share relentlessly, expect hyper-personalization – and simultaneously – raise the bar for trust and privacy.