Big tech now thinks privacy is an enabler for competitive advantage. You should too!

May is AdTech Privacy Month

The blunt message from today’s consumer is: Privacy Matters!

Apple sees it. They’re making changes to the tracking ecosystem. Their most recent, two pronged approach will force app developers to evolve by adding:

  • privacy nutritional labels for mobile apps
  • opt-in into ad tracking

Like food nutrition labels, privacy labels force app developers to be more transparent about the information they collect, what it will be used for and who it will be sold to.  As part of Apple’s IOS 14.5 update last week, app developers must now convince consumers to opt-in to IDFA tracking instead of just allowing them to opt-out.

Mobile Syrup just reported that 96% of ad tracking requests have been declined. The trend is clear and businesses that respect customer privacy will be rewarded.

In January of this year, Signal (a competitor to WhatsApp) experienced a 43x number of downloads, largely a result of confusion over an updated terms of service notification from Facebook owned WhatsApp and endorsements from tech superstars like Elon Musk.

Signal is privacy focused. While pursuing the same goal as Apple, they are more direct. They approached Facebook to “survey” consumers and see if they like what is being tracked about them. Facebook declined the challenge and more.

Signal responded with ads on Instagram, mocking the lack of transparency. The ads were subsequently banned.

“Facebook is more than willing to sell visibility into people’s lives, unless it’s to tell people about how their data is being used,” Signal explained in a blog post

Communication platforms like Signal understood early-on what the public is “signaling” to them (pun intended): invasive tracking through ads and cookies and other technologies is unwelcome. Consumers are “woke” ad tracking and increasingly refuse to tolerate it.

Big Tech leaders like Apple and Signal, in acting to maintain customer loyalty, are demonstrating the win-win: more privacy for their consumers means more business.  It makes total sense: Apple owns 53% of the global handset market and have nurtured a reputation for consumer trust – a loyal following. When you have the large consumer base like Apple does, the only thing to do is maintain the trust you established. Facebook is going backwards and it is clearly affecting them, as outlined by Signal:

“In Facebook’s world, the only acceptable usage is to hide what you’re doing from your audience.”

A lot of the advantages of “opting-in” to being transparent with your consumers and less privacy invasive (for the sake of accumulating enormous amounts of data), translate into more business and prove that privacy is indeed a business enabler:

  • Demonstrated Accountability by using opt-in and transparency into tracking
  • Truly building a culture of privacy where the consumer comes first in every way
  • Engineering privacy into products, services and platforms and gaining more business
  • Privacy Risk Management: collecting less information which puts the organization collecting it at less risk for having it
  •  Embedding privacy into business processes and practices to respect “the right to know”
  • Understanding the data needed to build a business advantage as opposed to amassing vast amounts of information that becomes stale and can be breached

These are practices that Organizations can implement to keep personal information in the privacy safe zonefrom the design stages.

In our previous article we were encouraging marketer to “take heart” and look beyond these changes.

We are entering a new era: information quality over quantity and it’s a good thing.

Is Your Organization ready to lead Changes with Privacy in mind? Download our Practical Privacy Playbook and uncover your roadmap to privacy success and ways to grow your digital business.

For additional insights and certified expertise:

LinkedIn: Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @managedprivacy

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