Customer data: Danger in data

Richard Higginbotham

A new study shows that people generally trust companies to use their personal data positively, but negative consumer experiences can cause them to mistrust that use and hence mistrust the brand.

Data security and the proper handling of personal information is not something most consumers think about, or are particularly concerned about, until there is a problem. A brand's relationship with the consumer proceeds smoothly with the consumer assuming that their data is being handled in a careful and intelligent way if they receive good service and sensible communications from a company.

As long as their communications are properly addressed and relevant, they assume that a company is protecting their data and making sound use of it. Such confidence can disappear in an instant if a delivery goes to the wrong place, or they start to receive unexpected and badly targeted messages - or, even worse, they find that careless data handling has resulted in fraud.