Consumers care increasingly about maintaining control of their data and understanding how it’s used. Don’t believe me? You’re not alone - the privacy paradox shows that whilst individuals purport to care about their privacy, there are very few that make changes to their online lifestyle as a result.

But, you don’t have to look far to see signs of the tide turning. It seems every few weeks there’s a new trending story about another big tech firm’s privacy initiative:

  • In late 2020, Apple released their ‘App Privacy’ labels detailing how each app collects and processes data,
  • Google’s ambitious (although highly controversial) Privacy Sandbox proposes a whole raft of changes including the total removal of third-party cookies, relied upon in the advertising and content personalisation industries,
  • In early 2019, the Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, pledged an overhaul of their systems to focus on private communications,
  • Facebook’s pledge appears more necessary than ever after a relatively insignificant change to the privacy policy of their messaging app, WhatsApp, was followed by a 17% drop in new users and downloads of their competitor’s app, Signal, increasing by 6200% over 7 days.
  • And many more…

That’s not to mention privacy issues being brought into the spotlight through scandals like Cambridge Analytica, documentaries like The Social Dilemma, and regulations like GDPR and CCPA.

There’s no doubt that retailers must take note. Big firms are thinking about privacy and are making huge changes as a result, and 32% of consumers have actively made changes to protect their privacy online.

This blog post is the first in a series exploring the recent changes and how they affect retailers. Whilst privacy is still not the key issue for consumers that it will eventually be, it is one that retailers must get ahead of now by showing they are aware and combating intrusive tracking.

Click here to read the next post in the series.