A compounding battle over the privacy of data

Data Privacy

From Apple introducing pop-ups seeking permission to be tracked by diverse applications to Google planning to disable tracking technology in the web browser, the efforts are toward a bigger picture – a compounding battle over the privacy of data.

First and foremost, data privacy is not data security. A thin line difference, where data security is protection of data from malicious threats, data privacy the collection and use of data by organisations. The issue of data privacy has intensified over time. While personalization and consumer choices preside over, the customers are increasingly concerned about providing the data marketers need to create those experiences, leading to a catastrophic tussle.

Unlike other industries Market Research domain has struggled for consumer information an maintaining the ethical standpoint at the same time. From the need to be transparent and ensuring permissions for data, the pressure has been unimaginably high.

The Effect of DIY on Privacy

Just like the name suggests, Do-it-yourself market research is where people instead of going through a market research agency, conducts the research themselves by using DIY tools available. DIY survey research software and tools empowers researchers to connect with web users by handing out online surveys and questionnaires via email or through their websites. Once respondents furnish responses to these questionnaires, the software’s built-in tools analyzes data in real time.

The emergence of online DIY market research tools has made way for companies from outside the purview of the traditional market research industry to pervade the privacy codes and provide client information regardless of respondent preferences.

To preserve and maintain the credibility, the imposition of privacy regulations is pertinent for the research industry. The essence of it lies in the trust factor. The ability to gain true insight is proportional to the trust that the respondents holds in the privacy standards. Once the trust is lost, it is possible that the respondent might become extra cautious or even bail out from entirely participating in the study. 

Social and Passive Data Collection

The bourgeoning of technology and deep love for social media has initiated social and passive data collection a norm. Overthrowing the classifieds, the print ads and television ads as the foremost way to reach the target audience, internet steered an upheaval in the marketing industry. Instead, brands plaster their ads across digital platforms like Instagram, Facebook, web browsers etc, tailored to specific interests piquing their attention. In exchange gathering consumer data by tracking their behaviour from site to site and using their personal data to target them with relevant marketing.

It often happens to us when we search a brand or talk about it, we inadvertently become part of their consumer research programme. We basically become a part of a large data set. While businesses and big tech giants flourished with the model, it prompted an invasion of privacy. Though many people would care the least and would be fine with providing their passive data, it is important from the market research standpoint to ensure there is no invasion of privacy by explicitly acquiring permission at the vert outset.

The Future of Privacy in Research 

With consumers becoming more careful about sharing data and regulators stepping up their privacy regulations, brand and businesses have realised that data privacy can lead to business advantage. Consumer privacy is a big concern for companies when they conduct market research or any activity that involves gathering information from consumers. For market research, or finding out what people want and like, then protecting the privacy of those people involved is critical to the success of the study. As consumers increasingly adopt digital technology, the data they generate create both an opportunity for enterprises to improve their consumer engagement and a responsibility to keep consumer data safe.

The essence of permission is changing. While some believe that using a service implies permission others ensure that the participants are aware and understand that their data is being collected. The idea of permission has faded owing to the diverse mindsets.

In the coming future we can expect two types of research organisations to exist. While one would be dependent on the passive model delivering real-time insights at great speed, the permission-based research model will be highly regarded and known for delivering true insights and best results. Respecting respondents’ privacy develops a level of trust in the collaboration leading to true and genuine insights.

Summing up

Conferring prime significance to data privacy, we at Market Xcel respect the privacy of any information that we collect as part of our research initiatives. All the personal information is collected with due permission, knowledge and understanding of the participants. Our proprietary panel, the Xcel-Online Survey is also committed to safeguarding the privacy online. From notifying the participant before collection of data to sharing the Privacy Policy regulations, we understand the importance of invasion of privacy and value of trust.

Have you had any experiences with data privacy, good or bad? Let us know in the comments below and join the conversation.