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February 1, 2023

How Privacy-First Data Tactics Drive Protection for People & Better Results for Companies

Data privacy concerns are on the rise, leading to an increased need for businesses to comply, but basic compliance is not enough. A shift to a privacy-first data economy, with transparency, control, & mutual benefits is the key to fix the broken ecosystem.

With data privacy regulations on the rise, the importance of compliance is an increasing concern for businesses large and small. And it should be–not only because it’s the right thing to do, but because it’s no secret that companies found in violation face steep penalties, litigation, and reputation issues. Major companies like Facebook, Google, and Sephora have all recently made headlines for data privacy violations, facing millions in fines.

To combat these problems, there are a host of commercially available solutions on the market that make it easier for companies to comply with current regulations. But compliance for compliance’s sake is no longer enough for companies wanting to drive effective marketing, increase engagement, and ultimately increase their bottom line. This is due to user trust, changing behaviors, the death of third party cookies, and the increased usage of technology like ad blockers and VPNs, with already more than 40% of people using that type of technology today.

The end result is that more than 50% of collected data is now inaccurate or bad and that number continues to grow in the wrong direction. That’s directly tied to that inherent lack of trust plus things like data decay, fake data, and data collection issues, with already problematic data quality further declining by 30% per year.

All of those factors are dramatically impacting the ability for companies to drive sales and marketing results due to data quality issues, as this results in limited data flowing to tools like customer data platforms, CRM systems, and data warehouses. Ultimately, companies are spending large amounts of money on data-driven technologies, and there are massive issues with the underlying data that companies are dependent upon to drive real results.

The problem is that the current ecosystem is broken – as individuals, we don’t have enough control over our own personal data, and we haven’t been given the right type of ownership, including the ability to selectively share what we want with the companies that we trust. If people are given better control and ownership over their data, we can create a digital ecosystem that benefits both people and companies. People and companies are both protected, and companies get better data that gets even better over time.

So how do we do that? It starts with consent. We know that capturing consent is the baseline for all current data privacy regulations – whether it’s cookie consent, terms of service acceptance, or other key events like newsletter sign-ups and SMS opt-ins. This is the entry point for engaging with your users. But if capturing consent is the only thing you do, you’re missing a prime opportunity to engage with those same users beyond consent via a mutually beneficial exchange of data.

In a privacy-first data economy, companies can use these moments to collect the right information from their users in a consent-driven manner by giving them data ownership tools, preference controls, and incentives that promote sharing (like discounts and loyalty points). With this model, both parties benefit, and zero-party data, a new data type that is behavioral, self-attested, verified, and opt-in based, becomes a common piece of the new privacy-first online ecosystem.

For a true privacy-friendly future, it comes down to transparency, control, and an equitable exchange of data that is built around mutually beneficial value. The right solutions will give people and companies the ability to start protecting our information and managing privacy and data sharing in the right way.