Privacy: why it’s such a big buzzword in business circles
You might have noticed the word “privacy” often popping up in declarations of business titans. In the wake of the Cambridge Analytica data harvesting scandal that engulfed his company last year, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has insisted that the future is private, as Fortune has reported.
Apple even recently unveiled a TV advertisement with the tagline: “If privacy matters in your life, it should matter to the phone your life is on.” The same could arguably be said of the phone your business is on, but why is privacy’s importance continually emphasized in the corporate sphere?
Data protection is a legal necessity
Various businesses have evidently been working overtime to extol the virtues of privacy. These firms have included even some which you might not typically have strongly associated with privacy, such as Google; its CEO, Sundar Pichai, recently said that privacy should not be a “luxury good”.
This was likely intended as a covert swipe at Apple, but privacy deserves to be treated as more than just a marketing buzzword. Fortunately, it has been given due respect with the implementation of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which came into effect on 25 May 2018.
However, the importance of data protection significantly predates the introduction of GDPR. Indeed, crucial data privacy and security principles have already long been enshrined in the Data Protection Act, which has been on the UK’s statute book since 1998, as ComputerWeekly.com points out.
Privacy also makes good business sense
There’s a pretty simple reason why privacy-enhancing features recently unveiled by Apple, such as the “Sign In with Apple” feature for securely logging into apps and websites, are likely to be cheered by customers: they are genuinely concerned about what happens to their data.
In one survey reported in an Entrepreneur article, 95% of respondents expressed concern about businesses amassing and selling personal details without permission. While photos and opinions are often nonchalantly shared on social media, more personal aspects are often kept under lock and key.
Over 80% of respondents to the above-mentioned survey also admitted to feeling more concern about their online privacy and security than they had a year earlier. The implication is clear: when your customers visit your site or buy from you, they are thinking about their privacy.
Therefore, you must go out of your way to show your customers that you value that privacy. The right technology can be crucial to this; consider, for example, that telecom firm Gamma’s The Loop offers secure and flexible dark fibre for Salford and various other business hubs locally.
Privacy can help to spur your growth
We are living in an increasingly connected world, to say the least. According to research firm Gartner, the number of connected devices used around the world will touch 20.4 billion by 2020. That growth in connectivity could open up major opportunities for you to grow your customer base.
However, to each customer you add, you should remember to demonstrate the belief that, ultimately, privacy is a right, not a privilege.