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Customer data and privacy: Walking the line between helpful innovation and invasion of privacy

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Susan Kim
Microsoft

Everyone is worried about privacy these days. More information about you exists in more places today than ever before in history.

 

Collecting and using customer data is not a bad thing. Organizations need that data to deliver products and services customers want. The issue is where to draw the line between using customer data to deliver helpful new capabilities and invading customer privacy.

 

Hillery Nye, Chief Privacy Officer at Glympse, explained how the startup company made a very conscious decision to not collect data that it could have easily gathered from its real-time location sharing app. The company collects customer data and uses it for very specific purposes, but it never stores that data. The company may have given up some opportunities to monetize its customer data, but Nye feels that the company gains even more by being a responsible corporate citizen and establishing a reputation for privacy. She discussed how a company's brand is affected by its privacy policies, and how organizations can better align their privacy policies with their business strategy.

 

Jules Polonetsky, CEO of the Future of Privacy Forum (a think tank and advocacy group focused on data privacy issues), provides advice to companies on how to manage customer data and privacy practices. Polonetsky explained that companies need to understand what customer data they have, where it is located, what rules apply to it, and who has access to it. Then they need to develop privacy standards that align with their business goals and customer expectations.

 

Click here to to learn more tips on managing privacy.

 

 

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