We’ve all seen that ad on eCommerce websites. “Enter your email here to join our newsletter and receive 10% off on your next order!” All too often, we happily comply and are thrilled to purchase the item for $9 instead of $10. But as the saying goes, nothing in life is free. What are we trading to the company in return for the 10% discount? It seems that contrary to the tone and feel of the plethora of privacy regulations – our private data is for sale – its just a matter of price. So far, all privacy regulations have done is made people more aware they can go ‘bargain hunting’ for the price of their personal data.
Conversely, from an enterprise perspective, privacy regulations raise awareness about protecting the privacy of customers (which you, of course, want to do anyway), and also impose risk towards the brand if you are caught not complying with it. The Cost-Benefit analysis is moving in the other direction. Are privacy regulations just about Cost-Benefit or is it turning into something more? Do enterprises truly care? To quote HaHa Lung – “There is no such thing as altruism”.
Up until now, companies have been happy to look after customers’ data as long as the perceived benefits outweighed the costs, as privacy wasn’t considered such a big deal, but more of a nice-to-have type of thing. I see this turning into an issue reminiscent of protecting the environment. Going back, we started seeing admonishments to think about the environment before printing emails. Over the last 5-10 years, protecting the environment has become mainstream on a corporate level. I see the same shift happening with privacy. Protecting customers’ privacy and personal data will move from being just a cost-benefit analysis to something closer to an expectation and badge of honor. Thanks to GDPR, CCPA, and LGPD, our privacy as individuals won’t be compromised. And that is good news for us all.