Data privacy/Data protection: What consumers want businesses to know. DPEXNetwork

Data privacy: What consumers want businesses to know

3 May, 2021

I recently came across a new report from PwC, Consumer Intelligence Series: Trusted Tech Report, and feel that some of the findings are important for us to ‘absorb’.

The biggest surprise for me was the strong global unity of consumers in their yearning for trust. Across countries as diverse as the United States, Canada, the UK, China, and India, between 80% and 90% of consumers said they wished there were more companies they could trust with their data. I am not sure whether Philippine consumers would reach 80% to 90% also.

Be the better choice, be trustworthy to customers

Businesses cannot afford to bet their future on the hope that no competitor will give consumers a better option tomorrow. The goal for a business is to become the better choice by building much-needed trust.

Consumers know they trade data for "free" apps

More and more global consumers understand the old concept of "there's no such thing as a free lunch," meaning, they recognize the implicit contract in which they give up data for "free" apps and sites. Most consumers (76%) recognize that sharing data with companies is a "necessary evil", but recognize the benefits in doing so.

When it comes to privacy for example, 67% said "they have little to no control over how their data is used", and 60% said "they expect the companies they do business with to have an eventual data breach" which makes sense given that 34% polled said that one or more companies that have their data already have had a breach.

What consumers want from businesses

Consumers, the report said, have a reasonable expectation for privacy with the data they provide the private sector; 84% of consumers will take their business elsewhere if they don't trust how a company is handling their data, and 85% said they wish there more companies they could trust with their data.

Comparatively, 90% of business leaders recognize that customer trust is a competitive advantage of the future, but less than half of business leaders consider privacy and security to be a top priority for firms!

Consumers and security

Consumers want companies to provide trust and to offer them control over their dataThat what the Philippine Data Privacy Act offers to local consumers; it’s up to Filipinos to see it implemented and enforced!

To improve data privacy and security is primarily the job of business - not consumers or the government.

This statement of business leaders is certainly not acceptable: "privacy and security are hard to prioritize among all the other things that we must accomplish at my company. It's hard to invest in something that "feels invisible," like behind-the-scenes security.

Let’s be very clear about this: consumers want to see data security/privacy made a core corporate value, no third-party sales of their data, the option to choose how their data is used and clarity about how they can set privacy settings!!

How to keep consumers

1. Declare privacy and security a core value, so consumers can hold you to it.

2. Choose privacy and security by design; weave it throughout the entire organization.

3. Prove to customers that you respect them.

4. Should a breach occur, act quickly and transparently.

The future of business and trust

There is a clear direction to build trust on privacy: don't sell consumers' data, give them control, and only use what you need.

To learn more about data protection, sign up for the course.

Contributed by: Henry J. Schumacher, President of the European Innovation, Technology and Science Center Foundation (EITSC)

Feedback would be appreciated, from consumers and from business leaders; contact the writer at

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official view or position of DPEXNetwork.

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