Dear Marketer: The Oval Office Called. It Wants Its Privacy Back.

 Yesterday, the White House released a long-awaited set of recommendations that are focused on helping individuals take greater control of how their data is collected and used for online marketing purposes. It includes what's being referred to as a "Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights."

The language is vague. The timeline to completion is long. The guidelines, for now, are "opt-in" for organizations. All true.

But folks? The glory days of scraping and selling and repurposing customer data are over. The Oval Office has spoken on the issue of privacy and personal data, and its bill of rights is crystal clear: Tell me what you’re collecting, how you’re using it, protect it well, give me a copy, and give me a chance to correct it, delete it, or opt out entirely.

Sound familiar? It should.  

We've written about personal identity management because we recognize that:

  1. Individuals want relevant offers and content, along with all the other great stuff that comes with sharing personal data.
  2. But, they are worried about privacy, security, and identity on the Web — and these concerns are only increasing.
  3. So, Do Not Track, the Privacy Bill of Rights, and similar guidelines will gain widespread approval and adoption . . .
  4. . . . until consumers realize that the Web has lost a bit of its magic — that the products, content, and offers they’re seeing are generic and irrelevant.
  5. Then they'll move their business to firms that voluntarily provide more granular privacy controls, and transparent, consistent, honest messaging about how they use consumer/user data. 

As of today, adoption of the bill of rights is voluntary, and I don’t suppose most of you will be jumping on the bandwagon just yet. But you need to be paying attention, and making organizational changes, because we’re still waiting for the FTC’s Do Not Track regulations (expected any day now), and we anticipate that those requirements will be far more stringent than the White House’s bill of rights.

What is your organization doing to prepare for personal identity management, the consumer privacy bill of rights, and Do Not Track legislation? Do you have a data steward in place to help govern your data capture and usage practices? Can you provide customers a complete copy of the data you store about them if they ask?

Weigh in on the Customer Intelligence Community, in the comments below, or on Twitter, using hashtag #PIDM.

I look forward to hearing from you.