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Darren Guarnaccia Posted by Darren Guarnaccia October 16, 2019

Rethinking how we talk privacy to customers

Ask yourself, when is the last time you really read that terms of service document before you clicked agree. It's the biggest lie on the internet nowadays. And who could blame you, really? Most of these privacy policies and terms of services documents and web pages are dense. Really, really, dense. Most are actually written at the 16th grade level, chock full of legal language, and downright exhausting. Most people on this planet read at the 8th grade level. Should someone try to understand your brand's policies around privacy, your use of their data, or their options, they'd come away feeling marginalized and defeated. Is this really the experience we want for our customers?

Of course, the answer is no. What's really happened over the last few years is that privacy policies have gone from the domain of some language your legal team would craft to protect the business to something more and more consumers are starting to deeply care about. It's time we start to proactively think about how to express what a brand needs to communicate with its customer around privacy in a way that is comprehensible to customers, can build trust, and earn willing participation.

Introducing the Trust and Consent Framework

We've written extensively about the concept of Privacy UX, and the idea of treating privacy as a fundamental part of the customer experience. Part of that experience is how you talk to your customers about your policies. With that in mind, we partnered with Beacon, one of the foremost thought leaders in how to frame a conversation with your customers on their terms, in a language they'll understand. What we've created together is the Trust and Consent Framework that packages up everything customers really want to know about a brand's policies – in an accessible and approachable way. One of the main tenants of our joint approach was to use human factors design best practices to deliver the right amount of information to the customer in digestible ways, using design approaches such as progressive disclosure, and human-centered design to overcome customer concerns and build confidence in customers.

Active consent

These privacy experiences are also powered by Crownpeak's Consent as a Service technology, which details all of ways your brand will use the consumers data, with the ability to set their preferences for how and for how long you'll use their information. These experiences are dynamic and change as your marketing technology evolves, instead of the typical, static privacy policy experience. This gives customers a level of granular control and transparency over their data that builds trust and helps brands develop active consent from their customers. I firmly believe that active consent is the future of brand success. Moreover, according to a new Gartner report by Nader Henein, Sr. Director Analyst, Practical Privacy — A Definitive Guide to Privacy UX, "Simply put, your customers are more inclined than ever to cross the road over to the competition and, in some cases, pay a premium if that is where they believe their personal data will be best cared for" and "privacy is becoming a conviction-based motivator similar to 'organic' and 'cruelty-free.'"*

All in all, it's an exciting time for brands. There is an amazing opportunity to differentiate as a brand and to build incredible customer trust and loyalty. I'm looking forward to helping brands build trust-based connections with customers where they actually believe it when they click "I accept" on that privacy policy.

*Source: Gartner, Practical Privacy — A Definitive Guide to Privacy UXNader Henein, 20 September 2019 (report available to subscribers).