If the 90’s and 00’s were about business environmental ethics, carbon footprints, green energy, reducing pollution and the causes of global warming etc., the next decade surely, should be about digital ethics. Businesses behaving responsibly with personal consumer data, protecting privacy, properly securing information and even questioning whether it is necessary to store certain information at all.
With more and more instances of high profile data breaches, like the Ashley Madison case in 2015 and the huge data breach at Yahoo which affected at least 500 million user accounts, with
stolen information including names, email addresses, birth dates etc., consumers are becoming increasingly concerned about their private and personal information being misused, misapropriated or even worse.
For many consumers this results in a reluctance to share information or engage with businesses online. But with the world becoming increasingly digitally enabled it is difficult, if not impossible, to keep even basic contact information completely private with most businesses, whether online or high street, requiring an email addresses, social media account, phone number or other personal contact data before you can progress with even the most basic and trivial level of engagement.
Businesses themselves however are coming under increasing scrutiny with regard to personal data management, with legislation and data protection agencies around the world imposing stricter regulations and ever more punitive fines for non-compliance. For many, basic consumer contact details for direct marketing is the lifeblood of the business, so increased data protection legislation means increased business risk, increased costs in managing consumer data, cleaning contact databases, ensuring consumer opt-in etc.
A shift is required in the marketing industry’s attitude towards consumers’ privacy and security demands. Here at Meebler, we whole heartedly endorse the concept of digital ethics and are building innovative solutions to help both consumers and businesses simply engage in a better way. Allowing the consumer to keep their personal electronic contact details private, whilst still enabling them to engage with the businesses and brands they are interested in. On the other hand, allowing businesses to run direct targeted marketing campaigns without the need to store or manage consumers contact details, allowing the consumer to manage their opt-in and how and where they are contacted. Digital ethics is about businesses respecting their consumers’ right to manage and control their own data, engaging with customers in a collaborative way that will only serve to improve the long term retention of a loyal customer base.