Personalization vs. Privacy: Unleashing the Privacy Paradox

by John Cox Author

If you compare your current life with the life you led a decade ago, you will find a humongous difference in the way things have changed. The most prominent change observed in people today is the constant urge to document their lives. With a number of social media handles running with their names, people are constantly trying to update their nears and dears about their life.

We are in the era of cloud accounting, and online businesses these days are more and more dependent on online accounting software. This indirectly means that we are letting third parties handle our most crucial information. Same is the case with social media sites. We are putting out our most critical information with people we do not even know about.

As unnecessary as it may sound, it has still formed an important part of our daily life. We like to keep people informed about things we are eating, places we are visiting, the milestones we are hitting, and every major event of our lives. At the same time, if we come across sites that are using our personal information to lend us a personalized experience, most of us would call it a breach and breaking of trust. Funny, isn’t it?

What Does Privacy Mean For Us And Others?

It can be assumed that people who document every day of their lives on social media will be okay with sharing their personal information with online sellers as well. But, when asked, people claimed they felt uncomfortable when firms used their on-site activities to give them a personalized experience. This is ironical on several grounds, and raises a common question- what does data privacy mean to people after all?

The meaning of privacy changes for people in different situations. And when looking at things from the perspective of a seller and buyer, the meanings take an entirely new turn.

The Perspective of a Business Owner

Every business needs some marketing strategies to find the right audience. If you have services to give, you need to let them know you exist. Previously, marketing was done on the ground. Hoardings were installed, advertisements were shown on the television, placards were distributed and ads were printed in newspapers and magazines.

Business owners, particularly those who run their businesses online, need data to find their target audience. Earlier these owners collected data on the register. Customers were asked to submit reviews and suggestions along with their contact numbers on the binder. But this was all voluntary. No business owner could force them to enter their personal details. And customers, on the other hand, mutually understood that this could be used for marketing in the future.

However, the same cannot be done with an online business. The problem with online businesses is not that the users are being forced to enter their data. Every customer visiting an online shopping site also does that voluntarily, but, with the view that this data will not be used by the seller for his own personal advantage. Just like the brick and mortar store owner does not follow its customer everywhere to gather data, a similar kind of privacy is expected by online customers.

The Perspective of an Online Shopper

A user visiting an online website to shop for a product as simple as a t-shirt would consider it to be a private activity. A large number of customers who found their frequently visited websites using their private data for effective marketing found it to be an invasive practice. Although the same would be done if they shop at a real store, shopping on a virtual platform changes things.

An enormous number of users said they did not want their activities to be monitored and data to be collected. For them, it was a question of privacy.

Two conclusions can be drawn from these above-mentioned perspectives-

     The business owners need data to lend their customers a personalized experience. In their opinion, it will leave the customer feeling valued and cared for.

     The customers want their data to stay private. Using their data to improve marketing seems to invade their privacy.

How to Settle the Privacy Paradox?

Since the paradox origins on both ends, the settlement also needs to come from both the parties.

On one hand, the consumers need to be more aware. Every website asking for user’s personal information does so within a set privacy policy. Most firms are only looking for data that helps them generate an effective, targeted marketing strategy. Thus, it becomes the responsibility of the customers to go through the terms and conditions thoroughly to avoid any surprises later.

On the other hand, business owners need to be more considerate when using their client's data. The intent behind data collection should only be to attract customers. The customers should in no way be made to feel that their privacy has been invaded. Complete transparency and honesty need to be maintained.

I am John, a professional web content writer for SageNext InfoTech. I have panoptic experience in writing about Cloud Accounting, QuickBooks Hosting, and QuickBooks Pro Hosting.

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About John Cox Advanced   Author

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Joined APSense since, July 14th, 2015, From Augusta, United States.

Created on Oct 25th 2018 00:57. Viewed 289 times.


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