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Internet Privacy: The Opportunity in Sharing Consumer Data

The future of consumer privacy on the internet is an unclear one. No one seems to be sure of how to balance gathering information for business purposes with consumer privacy – and consumers are cautious about what to share without any transparency regarding where their information will go and what it will be used for. Here’s an idea: sharing information with consumers may actually increase consumer willingness to share information with you.

As more and more business is done on the internet, the line of privacy grows fuzzier and fuzzier.  Marketers can track consumer data, know what you search for and what you click on (or what you don’t click on).  They know when you open an email, how long you view a web page, and whether you start a transaction (even if you don’t complete one).

There’s no mystery why consumers are hesitant to share their information; they don’t know who is going to read it or have access to their data later on.  This week, Slate published an article with an answer that just might get companies and consumers to work together and make information sharing beneficial for both parties.

Get the customers involved.  If you actually want them to read your disclosures (if you need the customer to acknowledge risk), then turn your online disclosures into quizzes. Or share the data you collect with their customers – people are more likely to share information if they can compare themselves against others, see the poll results.

Slate also suggests that online privacy should go the way of Facebook and allow users to choose their privacy settings themselves.

Read: Go Ahead, Share My Data

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