3 tips to avoid consumer backlash with your online privacy policy

Know the vendors that you are using

You might be surprised to learn how many brands don't know the vendors that are collecting and aggregating their customers' data on their sites. Brands -- especially big brands -- have many moving parts and may not realize how many third-party vendors are being used by their agencies and what they are doing. If you represent your brand, you need to know who these companies are and what their reputation is for securing customer data and being ethical with it. The buck will stop with you, not your agency or the various vendors. Angry customers will attribute bad behavior to you.

Know what your vendors are collecting and sharing

Brands need to be knowledgeable about what is being collected from its customers and site visitors. Not only that, but brands need to know how its vendors are using that data internally and who they are sharing it with. Vendors usually aren't thinking of brand perception; they are thinking of the best ways to understand data to produce better results for clients. It's the responsibility of the brand or agency to be the watchdog for the companies they hire.

Be transparent with users and offer them solutions for concerns

Finally, you must empower your users to make their own decisions about how they want you to use their information, or at least inform them of how you use it. Full disclosure is a key way to avoid anger from consumers. Make it clear on your website, terms of service, or privacy policy what you collect from your users and how you utilize the collected information. Make it clear who you share it with and why. Lastly, think about ways you can empower your consumers with various opt-outs or other privacy options. These things make consumers feel in the loop, not taken advantage of.

iMedia speaks to Amy King, VP of product marketing, Evidon, about the three simple things brands can do to avoid dealing with anger from its own customers about privacy concerns.

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