Data is being collected almost every website and online data collecting is essential tool for all modern companies. For example, real-time marketing intelligence allows companies to target and personalize marketing to just the right customers and significantly increase sales. The challenge is that most customers are very skeptical about how their data is collected, where it is used and stored - and in may cases for a reason.
Fostering trust is the new business imperative
According to a survey conducted by Salesforce, more than half (59 %) of customers believe that data collected from them is threatened by cybersecurity attacks and the companies that collect data from them have no good intentions (54 %). It is clear that consumers do not want to deal with companies that take information without clearly asking, for no reason or without consideration. Like said in Salesforce´s survey, fostering trust is the new business imperative.
Transparency is the key thing when building customer trust. People should be given control over what data is collected from them and told transparently how their data is being used and by who. In addition, it is essential that the data collector demonstrates its commitment to data and privacy protection. Data should not be shared without permission and asking for permission should be apprehensible, so that people understand what they are giving permission for.
Hippocractic Oath of the data economy
What if there were also code of ethics in data science and in all data economy, similar to physicians´ Hippocractic Oath? This great idea has already been widely presented in various forums. For example, one key moral guideline should be to promote transparency and people's confidence in how information about them is processed and what it is used for. It will be interesting to see if market forces point in the right direction.