Consumer Discretionary

The Case For Data Privacy & Consumer Choice

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<p>My grandfather was an ad guy. He ran brands and divisions in the heyday of&nbsp;Procter &amp; Gamble.</p><p>I remember watching golf with him one day late in his life; the sound muted. When the ads rolled through- he paused to critique one of them. Since this was quite out of character for him, I asked why. He shared that back in the early days of TV, the mark of a good advertisement was if you (the consumer) knew what was being sold and why it mattered to you without hearing the voiceover (sound).&nbsp;</p><p>Last week,&nbsp;Apple's CEO addressed the&nbsp;Council of Europe&nbsp;for International Data Protection Day (yes, that&rsquo;s a thing). In his speech, he reminded us that &ldquo;Technology does not need vast troves of personal data stitched together across dozens of websites &amp; apps in order to succeed. Advertising existed and thrived for decades without it&rdquo;.</p><p>I don&rsquo;t agree with all the perspectives of the Inc. Magazine write-up (like that "the business philosophies of Facebook and Apple are diametrically opposed"), but I do like a hard-driving case for data privacy being a consumer CHOICE.</p><p>In an excerpt from Mr. Cook&rsquo;s speech, he argues that the great cost to consumers and the end result of tech giants such as&nbsp;Facebook&nbsp;endlessly collecting and selling our data is &ldquo;that you are no longer the customer; you are the product."</p><p>There is an increasing push to expand data privacy protections, to curtail and limit what can be posted online without consequence, and growing exploration of &ldquo;ethical technology&rdquo;.</p><p>If we've learned nothing else in the past couple years, it should be as Mr. Cook said in Brussels: &ldquo;If a business is built on misleading users on data exploitation, on choices that are no choices at all, then it does not deserve our praise. It deserves reform.&rdquo;</p><p>My grandfather knew a thing or two. Sometimes we must return to the basics. Respect for others and ethical behavior is the foundation of a working society. We can- and must do better. Starting now.</p><p><strong>#leadership</strong>&nbsp;<strong>#values</strong>&nbsp;<strong>#growth</strong>&nbsp;<strong>#ethics</strong>&nbsp;<strong>#technology</strong>&nbsp;<strong>#dataprivacy</strong>&nbsp;<strong>#dobetter</strong></p>
KR Expert - Lisa Gralnek