The gap between technology and trust

I’ve followed some interesting and conflicting media recently. Tony Costa writing for Forrester evangelises location technologies improving customer experience citing four recent and compelling examples. On Australian TV last night 4 Corners followed the life and online privacy of a typical Australian family to demonstrate the reach of where our data goes. Once the breadth of data sharing was exposed, together with blatant privacy breaches the family were less than impressed. At the very least one could say that they appeared uncomfortable. I’m sure many in the viewing audience were. Here is an example reaction from the family, the daughter, a 24 year old university student was asked to comment on what she thought of being tracked in a shopping centre.

To me it feels like the sole purpose would be to maximise money, maximise where you buy things and how much you buy, what kind of stores you go into, and I, yeah I completely, just that, doesn’t sit well. Like I don’t want to be, yeah I don’t I don’t like that. … Yeah I would want to opt in or out and have the option.

There is currently a gap between the capability of location technology to improve customer experiences and how ready people are to adopt this reality. There is no doubt that organisations will seize on these technologies to improve services and increase profits. Notions of privacy will change over time too, and there is no telling now how far the public will embrace or merely tolerate this change. What this gap does suggest is the careful terrain organisations adopting tracking technology must negotiate to maintain trust with their customers to not abuse the data privilege.

Links:

Location Technologes Show a Path to Improved Custoemr Experiences, Tony Costa, 5/09/2013

In Google We Trust, ABC 4 Corners, 9 September 2013

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