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Does privacy pay?

The ICO’s announcement that it has decided to produce a report on how to create a business case for investing in proactive privacy protection is music to Opt-4 ears.

The projects undertaken by Opt-4 often require Board sign off and we have written countless business cases which explain the revenue impact of good data management and proactive permission marketing. We have always encouraged our clients to put a realistic value on their customer relationships and the data that drives them.

Our own research (please click here and then on the 'Opt-4 Research Reports' icon) has always focused on the “what’s in it for me” of becoming a trusted data controller. 

The danger – which we are hoping the ICO will avoid – lies in a “one size fits all” approach to data valuation which does not take into account the intangibles which are often so powerful in a marketing context. It is simplistic to take a pure “accountancy” approach based on average cost of acquisition and lifetime revenue. Much harder – but more realistic – is the measurement of value based on the degree of engagement (often displayed in permission levels) that the individual has with the brand/company.

But the barriers to adoption of “proactive privacy protection” are not only due to low
visibility of the risks at Board level and ignorance of the law.

Our experience shows that the barriers
may be cultural, technical, financial or intellectual. They may be internal or external to the organisation and can include:-

·         Legacy systems – and the potentially “toxic” data they hold

·         The (to date) low level of enforcement fines seen as an acceptable business risk

·         Poor staff training and privacy awareness requiring a significant re-skilling programme

·         No obvious departmental ownership/budget allocation for privacy improvement

If you have encountered any of these barriers and would like help in overcoming them contact us at  

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