“There are two major camps in the B2B space that businesses fall into regarding data privacy regulations. Businesses that put their customers at the centre of their universe, and ones that don’t.”
Simon Evans, CTO, AMIDO
GDPR is a hot topic, and will continue to be for the foreseeable future. But there are still a lot of businesses that are grappling with the new data privacy regulations. In my view, there are two major camps in the B2B space that businesses fall into regarding data privacy regulations. Businesses that put their customers at the centre of their universe, and ones that don’t.
If you do, the chances are you’ve always treated privacy and consent with the kind of respect that end-users would expect.
The other kind of business doesn’t put the customer first, then treats GDPR as a legal loop they have jump through. Their data privacy emails purely exist as legal cover. But this misses the spirit of GDPR, which is all about trying to ensure that customers are in control of their own data and use of data.
The first camp has probably already embraced a lot of what GDPR is about, prior to it even existing. However, there are customers we work with in the second camp who want to embrace the spirit of GDPR, and deal with consent in a constructive way.
The Value Proposition
It’s important to understand the purpose of collecting customer data before you start collecting it. As for the customer, they need to understand the value proposition of giving up their personal data. And they need to make their own decision as to whether or not they are willing to provide it to get its benefit, which could be more personalised product recommendations (which some customers want while others don’t).
But as long as the value proposition is made clear to the customer – why that information is being collected and for what purpose – and they’re able to consent their way out of it if they choose to, then it’s a useful service for the customer.
The Purpose of GDPR
GDPR exists for one very important circumstance, which is to protect the customer against their personal information being handed off to a third party without their consent.
The whole thing around Facebook and privacy shows two things. Firstly, it shows that people weren’t aware of how their information was being passed on to third parties and what that really meant. What GDPR does is to enshrine into law the need for consent with those third parties.
The second thing was to prove that people have not left Facebook in their droves, because most customers understand the value proposition of services like Facebook, and most will stick with the value it provides them.
GDPR isn’t meant to stop Facebook from existing. It’s meant to provide service transparency, and better clarity and control around how your information is used and by whom, with the ability to turn that off.
And the best way to make customers feel empowered in the decisions they make is to ensure the rights of your services are clear to them, and the terms and conditions are accessible. The results will benefit both your business and your customers.