The only way is ethics: Brands urged to sign data pledge

data_privacy2Brand owners are being urged to sign up to a raft of new “aspirational commitments” for their data-driven marketing strategies designed to help organisations cultivate a better customer experience built on accountability, transparency, trust, and respect for privacy.

The Global Data & Marketing Alliance (GDMA), of which the UK’s DMA is a key member, has published the ethical framework and best practice guidance which sets out seven key principles for the global data and marketing industry.

A key aim of the new principles is to establish best practice guidance that the global industry can use to strengthen existing self-regulatory privacy codes worldwide. In addition, they are being touted to governments with less rigorous data privacy legislation to develop data protection regulations in their respective countries.

The seven principles commit firms to value privacy, be clear and transparent, respect the individual’s preferences, process personal data ethically, take responsibility, keep personal data secure, and be accountable.

Delving into the finer detail, each principle contains commitments such as making privacy a core value through codes or policies, which must be approved by top management and communicated to all stakeholders. Firms must take steps to ensure employees, partners and suppliers understand and are committed to the organisation’s privacy values.

Companies are also being urged to train and commit employees to respect and value privacy, adopt a privacy by design approach and create trust by being clear and transparent with individuals about their personal data collection, use and disclosure practices.

In a statement, the GDMA said: “New technologies and the use of personal data provides humanity with the opportunity to live better, consume better, and be more sustainable. Data has an ever increasing role in this quest for business, innovation, and economic growth. The benefits of data for society and the economy can only be achieved through its ethical use and the generating of trust between individuals and organisations.

“Privacy and data protection rules both contribute to the creation of trust, while providing a framework for responsible free flows of information across the world. The GDMA Global Principles establish a worldwide framework for customer communication that should underpin all legal and commercial approaches.”

DMA UK chief executive Chris Combemale commented: “[This is] an ethical framework that can be used by businesses, large and small, to demonstrate their commitment to enhancing data privacy standards.

“The principles will help organisations across the globe to place the customer at the heart of everything they do. We want to inspire data and marketing professionals worldwide to continue building consumer trust in the industry.”

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