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Branding Privacy

As companies profit from sharing data in previously unimaginable ways, brands need to establish trust with their customers over what can and should stay private.

The battle between the FBI and Apple over giving access to user data on a terrorist’s iPhone promises to be one of the defining debates of 2016. It raises the fundamental question: Whom can I trust to keep my data private? That’s why brands are making huge efforts to portray themselves as guardians of our privacy. 

Facebook is the latest to throw its hat in the ring, expanding its secure WhatsApp messaging service to offer encrypted voice calls and beefing up security on its Messenger tool. WhatsApp’s founder recently said data security should be a given, not a bonus feature. But, with data an increasingly valuable commodity—“the new oil”—many fear their service providers are simply paying lip service. So smart brands are going the extra mile to show they get it.

Several Fortune 500 corporations now have a Chief Privacy Officer (CPO), a trend started by IBM as far back as 2000. A CPO’s job is to be more focused on what data in an organization needs to be protected, while the security department develops and manages the way to protect it. In this age of data proliferation, your Chief Security Officer can defend against security breaches, but building trust around your brand requires a CPO. If you want to build trust in your brand, how can you better protect your customer’s data?


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