4 Customer-Centric Strategies for Improving Data Privacy


The Gist

  • Customer privacy concerns. Learn why customer privacy is crucial in today’s digital era and how to address concerns. 
  • Handling sensitive data. Businesses need to create mechanisms for customers to request the erasure of their data.
  • Customer-centric approaches. Examine key strategies for implementing a customer-centric approach to data privacy.

In an era dominated by digital interactions and data-driven decision-making, the growing importance of customer privacy has become a central focus. In fact, according to a McKinsey report, 87% of North American consumers polled said they would not do business with a company if they had concerns about its security practices. 

As technology advances with further developments in AI, businesses need to refocus their efforts on customer-centric approaches to data privacy and security. 

The Rise of Customer Privacy Concerns

The exponential growth of data collection and utilization has fueled a surge in customer privacy concerns. In one McKinsey survey, 85% of respondents agreed that knowing a company’s data privacy policies is crucial before making a purchase, emphasizing a growing awareness and desire for more transparent data practices.

“Consumer data often contains sensitive data that reveal behavioral tendencies, political ideologies, religions, sexual orientation — and many more that foreign adversaries can buy from data brokers or collect from data breaches and use to exploit individuals and national security,” said Steven Ward, privacy and security fellow at R Street Institute.

One of the key drivers shaping the discourse around customer privacy is the implementation of stringent legal frameworks. The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), for example, has set a global standard for data protection. The GDPR not only emphasizes the importance of obtaining explicit consent for data collection but also grants customers the right to request the erasure of their data. This legal provision places the onus on businesses to establish mechanisms for fulfilling such requests promptly and efficiently.

Still, a 2023 Statista survey found that roughly 25% of businesses in the US and UK expressed significant apprehension regarding the enforcement of data privacy laws impacting their operations. Additionally, 20% cited worries about the financial burden associated with complying with privacy regulations.

Related Article: 7 Marketing Technology Trends for 2024

European flags in Brussels outside the government building.
GDPR is one of the many good reasons marketers and customer experience leaders need to have data privacy top of mind.jorisvo

Ethical Considerations in Data Handling

“Everyone has seen the ‘We’ve Updated Our Privacy Policy’ message on apps when we open them, or in our email inbox,” said Ciara Maerowitz, data privacy manager for the City of Phoenix. “Companies are responding to updates in regulatory requirements to ensure compliance, but they are also responding to consumer demands.” 

Consumers are becoming increasingly aware of their privacy rights, Maerowitz explained, and are opting out of marketing, messaging and cookies. Customers are demanding more access to their data, the ability to change or delete it or to not provide it in the first place. Forty percent of people even said they’ve stopped doing business with companies that failed to protect their data. 

Businesses are increasingly recognizing the ethical imperative of responsible data handling. Ethical considerations involve striking a balance between leveraging customer data for business insights and respecting individual privacy rights.

The ethical dilemma lies in ensuring data is collected and used responsibly, without compromising individual privacy. Companies must proactively communicate their data handling practices to customers, fostering transparency and trust. 


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