How Brands Will Be Affected in the New World of Privacy

How Brands Will Be Affected in the New World of Privacy

According to Gartner, 75% of people worldwide will have their personal data safeguarded under privacy regulations by 2024, just one indicator among many of a world increasingly concerned with the transparent, responsible usage of personal data.

People’s anxieties about what corporations are doing with their data—as well as where, when, and how their data is getting collected—continue to abound, while states around the globe are rolling out and/or updating legislations on data privacy.

Further complications are introduced due to the dramatic ascension of AI, a still nascent set of promises getting inescapably bandied about among corporate giants, governments, tech influencers, and agencies alike. The impact of AI has, for example, prompted European Union to reach a historic agreement on an AI regulation act, which will require even more caution from brands as they try to incorporate AI-driven processes into their operations.  

Our new world of privacy worries is coming into being during a time when lifestyles, experiences, communities, and commodities are being streamlined and reinvented through data-driven technologies. In this blog, we will take a look at how brands will be affected in this environment—as well as the adaptations that they may necessitate.

Privacy Concerns

With one privacy violation scandal upon another, it is only understandable that people around the world are voicing their worries about how brands are handling their data. There is eroding trust in a variety of institutions, whether private or public, with 71% worried about how their governments are using their data. 67% know little about what brands are doing with their data, a likely product of poor corporate communication, general lack of transparency around such issues, and insufficient education on personal data security.

While governments have responded by passing various regulations, people are also taking their own measures for a greater sense of reassurance. 49.6% of Gen-Z and 42.9% of millennials reject tracking permissions for mobile apps; 33.7% and 32.2% respectively are switching off mobile tracking entirely, according to a recent Prosper Insights & Analytics survey.

The distrust and alarm must be met with a commitment to a culture and practice of transparency from brands. Such transparency, however, will only appear legitimate when backed with concrete processes and protocols devoted towards giving consumers an active role in shaping the collection, usage, and sharing of their data.

The AI “Upheaval”


There are few buzzwords clamoring to define our time with more frenzy than AI—a whole new way of life, an endless litany of possibilities, and supposedly irresistible benefits that, according to its proponents, will soon disrupt the world as we know it.

Corporate and (to a lesser extent) public interest in generative AI points to an interest in pushing streamlined operations, optimized labor, and (yet more) hyper-personalization to even greater heights through data. For customer engagement, this heralds customer experiences that are personalized at far greater depth and scale, while requiring even less time.

Like previous about personalization (or from, say, 4-5 years ago), brands will run into the same challenge of people’s discomfort with the data collection integral to AI’s function. For example, 81% of Americans won't be comfortable with AI's role in data collection. As brands start narrowing down their lists of vendors offering AI solutions (or solutions where AI-driven capabilities are prominent), they need to make sure that privacy is built into their tools by design.

The Need for Different Data Privacy Practices

As third-party cookies become gradually phased out, brands are turning to zero (i.e., data voluntarily shared by customers with a brand) and first-party data—as well as the data already at their disposal—to understand their audiences, identify critical behavior, and inform their strategic decisions. They are also in search of ways to identify individual customers and accurately measure ROI impact from customer interactions across their growing lists of channels without relying on cookies.

The centrality of zero and first-party necessitate the development of a direct, transparency relationship between the brand and its customers. This needs to be a relationship defined by the clear communication of data usage, privacy protocols, and the benefits to be expected (e.g., tailored content, hyper-personalized offers, exclusive discounts) in exchange for data sharing.

Zooming out from the single markets, brands with a global customer base will have to navigate a complicated landscape of data compliance, with nation-specific policies demanding rather varied practices. Therefore, it is now critical to draw up data governance strategies that are not only omnichannel, but global.

The shrinking utility of third-party cookies is also accompanied by a growing interest in self-service ad platforms that bypass, or at least offer another option besides, “walled garden” providers. These platforms allow brands to purchase, create, deploy, and measure their digital ads directly. With industry giants like Amazon and Walmart unveiling digital ad platforms built into their own platforms, we will witness even more permutations of ad targeting efforts, as brands seek to leverage the immense data accrued by these major players and orchestrate personalized journeys within, and likely beyond, the retail portals.

Getting Ready for the Privacy World

With the privacy practices of many corporations being put under a microscope, it is imperative that brands implement and enhance their data compliance readiness.

This means a range of transformations that need to take place: an embrace of privacy by design in their data processing, investments in secure tech stacks, and up-skilling the entire team to be proactive about abiding by consumers’ data privacy boundaries. Brands should also move towards the provision of a unified privacy CX, one where customers get to indicate, in one place or portal, their preferences for consent, tracking, and a host of other pertinent issues.

Data, digital acceleration, and the much-hyped arrival of the AI age have given business leaders reasons to be excited about the future of scalable personalized engagement. And they will stand a chance of winning over still skeptic customers when they pair those innovations with a concrete, documented commitment to data privacy and consumer autonomy.


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