Give Customers Control of Their Data or Risk Incurring Their Wrath
As product managers rush to deliver a new multichannel experience, customers will need increased control of their personal data—even more so than in the context of traditional mobile-app surfing, shopping and the like.
Nov 13, 2017—
Figures vary, but analysts agree that Internet of Things (IoT) devices will proliferate exponentially during the coming years, and IoT-oriented products and services will likewise explode. As product managers rush to deliver a new multichannel experience that potentially adds dozens of "things" to the usual Web and mobile access points, they must understand this very important difference in the IoT consumer journey: customers will need increased control of their personal data—even more so than in the context of traditional mobile-app surfing, shopping and the like—thanks to the convergence of the following five forces:
Security Threats Are More Personal—Has Your Webcam Been Compromised?
As connected refrigerators begin to inform people that they need to restock the milk, and as personalized discounts for products start showing up on public devices in far-flung places, customers may get that "Big-Brother" feeling. They may want more transparency around how their data is being used to ultimately serve up a coupon for salsa when they reach for tortilla chips at a supermarket. If you own an Amazon Echo, you probably know that the device not only listens to but records a lot of what you say. Behind that dark tower, Amazon is storing a vast trove of recordings inside your home. Your voice—your friends' voices—are all being analyzed. Well, now a consumer can listen to every command they've ever given their Echo with the Alexa app on their smartphone or tablet. If it creeps you out that your requests, and other things you may have said, have been stored in a database, you can delete them.
Consumers Are Starting to Exercise Their Power
Regulators Will Mandate This Change
Technology Is Evolving to Give Consumers Control
Brands will be tempted to have a ubiquitous presence around end users, given the IoT's promise of deeper insights and fine-targeted customer relations. Customers having control of their data will keep organizations on the right side of the line separating customization from creepy.
Jim Kaskade is the CEO of Janrain, where he leads the company's vision, strategy and worldwide operations. He is a seasoned entrepreneur with more than 31 years of experience in complex enterprise technology, including 10 years as a startup CEO leading companies from their founding to acquisition. He has built multiple technology businesses in cloud computing, enterprise software, software-as-a-service (SaaS), online and mobile digital media, online and mobile advertising and semiconductors. Prior to Janrain, Jim was the VP and general manager of digital applications at Computer Sciences Corp., where he led the formation of its largest line of commercial business. You can contact him via Twitter or LinkedIn.
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