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The various scandals of the past decade – both data hacks, and companies’ unethical data usage – have led to big changes. Consumer protection expectations have changed, and sweeping new legislations have arrived. Most notably, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) bill in Europe, and the Consumer Data Rights (CDR) bill in Australia. Back in 2011, there was also the Cookie Law which was applied uniformly across the EU. The rules of confidentiality in this law was updated in early 2017, and was dubbed the ePrivacy Directive.

For GDPR, there is an increased territorial scope, or an extended jurisdiction of the law. There’s also a focus on consent: it must be as easy for consumers to withdraw consent for businesses to access their data, as it is to give it.​

CDR will allow consumers to access particular data, including transaction and product usage data, in a digital format; direct a business or Government agency to transfer that data to a third party; and allow businesses the ability to gain permission to access this data. You can read all about this on our whitepaper here (add link).

Consumer trust in businesses is at a low ebb. What consumers want, and what has been denied to them for years, can be simplified as:

Consumers are not necessarily against their data being collected and utilised altogether. We all love it when our return visits, and our preferences and our wants are taken note of by the places we spend our money – we want businesses’ personalised attention. Think about how great it is when you drop by your local coffee shop and the owner remembers your name and that you like a skinny flat white. Most of us understand that the more companies know about them, the better, more personalised offers they can make to them.

As consumers, it is also important to remember that, despite the many data breach incidents, we live our lives smarter and more conveniently because of data. We get to where we need to be faster, we have our credit card information readily available, we see products advertised that we really need or want – in short, we get better service from our providers.

But as business owners, it is on us to rebuild and continuously maintain the trust. We have to measure up to the standards set by new legislation. We need to carefully consider how to protect our customers and use their data in the ways that they have consented to. We need to rebuild the trust in how consumers and businesses share data openly. There are countless benefits to consumer data where you can drive positive outcomes. You, as a business owner, can use these to your advantage while still maintaining the highest level of protection for your customers.

Only once we understand how we got to where we are, can we create the best practices by which to move forward. And only once we chart that way forward, consumers and businesses come together again, in a spirit of sharing and trust, to the benefit of both.

To learn how your business can improve its approach to data and privacy and establish the highest levels of trust with your customers, read our whitepaper: DATA PANIC! Why Consumers Don’t Trust Businesses Any More.

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