April 15, 2010 Michael Bickerton
Canada’s privacy laws are involved in our day-to-day existence, and although most of us don’t consider privacy on a daily basis, the evolution of social marketing has put a lot of pressure on the Canadian Privacy Commission.
There are three important areas that you and your digital agency need to be considering at all times. Generally, business has not been good at ensuring that people’s privacy is protected, often viewed to be exploiting issues, verses serving the great good. Privacy has moral, ethical & social implications, and at all times as businesses venture into social marketing, these key components MUST be considered and adhered to. Companies lacking in this area will see the damage to both their reputation and the reputations of their brands.
Ann Cavoukian, Ontario’s Privacy Commissioner, stated in June 2009 “posting your personal information on a social networking website without considering your privacy options is like crossing the street without looking both ways. Neither is advisable.”
Technology is not the culprit; it is the vehicle. Technology contributes to its citizens, and adds to the prosperity of the country. Social Networking has made everything more invasive, yet at the same time, has promoted community and sharing, it has educated our young people, it drives business (Facebook Ads are booming), and its been a huge bonus in driving knowledge, there is more and more information available at the click of a button.
There is a new view due to the invasiveness, just as US President Obama is pushing Wallstreet, ordinary people are fully expecting that business control its data. That implied consent is not full consent and that sharing of information is NOT ok. The populace expects that business will behave and conduct themselves legally, practically and fairly at all times. As businessperson, you need to remember that times are changing and you must change with them. Social networking has all increased the requirement of business to become good social citizens.
The time is now approaching that the first question that will be asked when considering a purchase is do I trust you? Make sure you and your brand (s) are trustworthy, otherwise the results will be disastrous … the social networking generation expect trust!
Michael Bickerton, Raven5, April 2010