CBI: prioritise customer data transparency – or suffer

TechStrong data governance has emerged as the number one priority for consumers, with almost 90% of people identifying good data security and the protection of personal information as the key characteristic they look for when deciding where to spend their money.
That is according to a new study by the so-called “bosses’ union”, the CBI, which claims that, as the pace of digital change accelerates, the issues of trust, privacy and innovation are paramount.
There remains much for the business community to do in winning the trust of their consumers, the CBI argues, and it has set out a number of “top tips” for the business community.
These include:
– Go beyond your legal requirements of a privacy policy. People identified greater transparency of how data is used (50%) and making it easier to delete data shared (48%) as key actions for firms to take
– Tell your customers about their data rights. Over half of those surveyed (54%) said they were not aware of what rights they have when sharing data
– Always check you’re using personal data in the way a consumer expects. Some 49% of respondents said they did not believe businesses have their best interests at heart when using their personal data.
Matthew Fell, CBI UK chief policy director, said: “As businesses increasingly move from the physical to the digital, cyber security has become central to a company’s existence. Just ask anyone who has picked up a newspaper – cyber-attacks are a very real threat to business.
“But the second, and more unexpected reason is that cybersecurity has a direct impact on consumer trust. Almost 90% of consumers see data security as the key characteristic they look for in a business, when thinking about where to spend their pay-cheque.
“Responsible data use is the number one reason a customer will stay loyal to your business. And irresponsible data use is the main motive for looking elsewhere. It’s absolutely vital. And it means having a good cyber security strategy will make your business more competitive.
“Businesses must also go beyond merely having a privacy policy. Firms need to go further, beyond legalistic jargon to a point where customers have a clear roadmap of how their data is collected, used, shared, or erased.
“This seems like a lot. Possibly like a level of transparency that could put people off. But the facts tell us otherwise. Transparency actually tops the list of factors that make customers more comfortable sharing their data. More so than any other reputational issue.
“Your customers care. People need confidence in the way technology is getting smarter and solving problems. And this means engaging customers does matter for your bottom line.”

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