As organizations and consumers get wiser about data privacy/protection imperatives, strategies will evolve to protect both sides of the same coin.

Consumers today are faced with endless privacy policies from the minute they jump online. However, how many of these lengthy legalistic policies are actually being read and consented to, in an informed way?

Keeping up to date with the specifics of each data policy is a near-impossible task. Further complicating matters, the jargon used in the policies is complex and not easily understood by the average person, making it really challenging for customers to know what they’re agreeing to.

In many cases, users of any service may feel that they have no choice but to tick ‘agree’ and accept the policies so they can get access to the sites and apps they want to use, and hope for the best. 

The flip side

On the other hand, organizations are also having difficulties collecting the best quality data. 

Consumers are less likely to hand over accurate information if they are failing or struggling to understand how and why their data is being used. 

Unless changes are made to how we request and share data, the effectiveness of data sharing policies as it stands will remain limited.  

How can this double-edged problem be solved?

The new way forward for data sharing

As we move into a new era of digital data sharing and protection,more organizations will  move towards a customer-centric approach to data policies sharing.

People will be given explanations around exactly what their data is needed for and when. We will see a shift towards a more tailored and unique approach towards data sharing, which will offer customers greater control of their data.  

Customers will benefit from this shift, and businesses will also be able to develop more tailored user experiences for each customer in the next five years.  

This new way forward will give customers and data stakeholders the following benefits:

  • The ability to opt-in to share data at different times during their experience using a service
  • Transparency in enumerating exactly what the data submitted will be used for. For example, when shopping online, a user may opt-in for data-sharing in order to have a more personalized, targeted user experience
  • In the crucial financial industry, equitable control and usage of personal data will match neobanks and financial institutions with the right customers looking for reliable, meaningful services.
  • As data-sharing policies evolve to become more customer-centric, owners of data will have autonomy, with more insight and control over what is shared between different parties, and will benefit from greater transparency as soon as they sign up for a new service. On the other hand, organizations will receive higher quality data through a more engaged and informed customer base, for which they can deliver more meaningful services tailored to personalized needs.

In Singapore, initiatives like the SGFinDex provide citizens with a central hub to access their financial information held across different government agencies and financial institutions, while guaranteeing autonomy over who has access to that information. In the process, the initiative enables users to tailor what they access through the hub, depending on the financial help they need; and puts transparency at the forefront of these services as well. 

Similarly in Hong Kong, some virtual banks are starting initiatives to integrate retail financial services and lifestyle offerings from different providers to create a one-stop financial hub for customers that include customer-centric data-sharing policies. 

As organizations shift away from traditional jargon-heavy policies and adopt a more customer-centric approaches, there will be a better understanding of data, greater transparency and trust between users and businesses; and more powerful utilization of data for improved customer experiences.