Privacy Hypocrisy Part 2: Lurching to the high road

Privacy Hypocrisy Part 2:
Lurching to the high road
By Scott Hornstein 
Chief Marketing Officer, Wired Assets Data Corporation  
I am dumbfounded. Mobile is a potential lighting rod for privacy concerns. Yet some mobile privacy policies read like an accident waiting to happen. These kinds of accidents tend to be serious, predictable and thus, avoidable. What’s crazy is that all the mobile marketers I’ve met )except one) are honorable. They are savvy businesspeople that understand that the customer is in control of the relationship and any real or perceived breach of privacy is likely to be met with rioting in the streets.
Many companies have taken the position that rioting in is not the issue, it’s the law suits that follow. Thus, the privacy policy bypasses the customer and is erected as a legal firewall. For instance, the privacy policy of a mobile marketer I respect consists of 27 paragraphs. Customers have no attention span whatsoever. The only people who are going to read 27 paragraphs are lawyers and guys writing articles on privacy.
Here’s the one from last month’s column. It reads like shuck and jive.
“The personal information that you provide is an important part of our business. We are not in the business of selling this information to others. This information will only be shared with our direct partners and agents as required.”
To a customer )me), this says that we can do whatever we want, whenever we want, no matter what you think we may have promised you. It creates the perception of hypocrisy, or as my teenagers’ say, “They are all liars. They all behave like buttheads. They tell you how they won’t do something, then they do it anyway.” Perception is reality.
I think we need to have a privacy policy written for our customers, straight-forward, honest and in plain language. I’d like to try and do it here and now, with your help. Try this one on for size:
We work hard to create a bond of trust and respect with each of our individual customers. Privacy is chief among our mutual concerns. Here’s how we will treat your privacy. If you would like to know more about any aspect, a complete legal document follows:
All of your personal information is collected and stored in a secure location. From time to time we may analyze that information to help us figure out ways to serve you better. Analysis may lead us to test or introduce a new product or service that we feel may interest you.
It is important to note that we do not share the analysis of any individual’s data with any other business, person or concern at any time for any reason. Averages and composites are used in our promotional dialog with advertisers and business partners.
We exist based on commerce. Thus, we may partner with another business, person or concern that has a product or service that might be interesting to you, based on your stated preferences, for our mutual benefit. If so, they will contact you, reference the relationship and ask permission to present you with the value offer.
If any at time for any reason you do want to stop, simply email, write, call or text, OPT-OUT and let us know if you no longer want to receive specific offers, specific media or everything. We’ll comply as quickly as we can, which in some cases might be as long as X weeks.
If at any time for any reason we change this privacy policy, we will let you know immediately using the contact information on file.
What else do we need?   Let me know - [email protected] Let’s craft this together.