GrowthAugust 16, 2017

Customer data fundamentals: Security and privacy

Customer data fundamentals: Security and privacy

Marketers need to constantly strike a balance between delivering more and better personalized experiences and crossing over the line to a point that makes consumers and others uncomfortable. There are many benchmarks and rules that can help provide guidance, but it’s also incumbent on marketers themselves to understand both the letter and the spirit of these principles and to apply good judgment.

Complicating matters, there are often multiple parties involved, not just the marketer and the customer. The more systems you use to capture, process and action consumer data, the more gateways exist for misuse. As a result, it’s essential to thoroughly vet new solutions to ensure they a) meet privacy and security standards, and b) keep your users happy.

Set your privacy framework

At a minimum, every company in this day and age should have a written privacy framework that outlines the protocols for data collection (what type of data does your organization capture), access (which users and systems can have access to which types of data) and governance (how you protect, share and use different types of data).

As you build your privacy framework keep in mind the 3 C’s:

  • Consistency: Your data collection and retention practices align with your privacy policy and are enforced without failure across your entire organization;
  • Compliance: Agreements with partners meet your organizational policies for privacy and data retention and the local laws governing those agreements; and
  • Control: Understand the nuances of handling and sending data in different circumstances, for example, how you hash and encrypt personal user data before sending it to third-parties.

Deliver on the framework

Building a privacy framework is the first step to protecting customers, but to maintain security you have to enforce that framework, every day.

Having a single platform for data collection, management and distribution makes it far easier to monitor the flow of data, identify gaps, and ensure proper compliance.

For example, mParticle’s customer data platform offers easy-to-understand filters and controls for collecting and sending different types of data to
a range of third-parties.

Here’s how data filters work:

  1. Click Connections from the left side menu
  2. Click Filter
  3. Click the “+” sign
  4. Select a Service
  5. Click the green toggle to stop sending that data point to the selected service

In all likelihood, your ad server doesn’t need to know people’s name and addresses, and your email platform doesn’t need to know their cookie IDs. With mParticle, you can systematically ensure that information never gets to them.

Just like that, a task that would otherwise require days of engineering work becomes a push-button process in the mParticle platform.

Follow through

Once you’ve created a customer data plan with clear objectives, and established the required tools, measurements, and privacy framework to ensure both security and personalization, there’s nothing left to do but put your plan into action.

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