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4 min read
April 20, 2022

User Consent is the King

The success of a brand depends to a large extent on how much the end user trusts the brand. A company’s policy on data privacy, therefore, is a key determiner when it comes to shaping that brand image.

How, you ask? Sample this:

In a survey that research giant Mckinsey conducted in North America in 2020, as many as 71% of respondents said that they would stop doing business with a company if it gave away sensitive data without their prior permission. There is no doubt that tracking of user data, their sequencing, and drawing intelligence from these go a long way in serving the user better. In an ocean of information available online, it is through this learning of user behavior that consumers are served the most relevant products and services that suit their needs and tastes. 

The criticality of data tracking for better user experience is, in fact, why data privacy must be taken very seriously. Stringent data protection norms are also being formulated by governments across the world to make these legally enforceable. Soon enough, asking for user consent to access their data will not be a choice.

Data and the power of sharing

A large part of our lives now is online. And, it is no coincidence that each time we visit a website – whether to buy groceries, or to find out the best home loan rates, or to just watch a movie on an OTT platform – our consent is sought for using our data for serving us better recommendations and user experience. The bit about “serving us better” is quite right, and crucial.

Based on our searches and transactions on any platform, we are shown follow-up ads and recommendations. These spot-on suggestions on platforms like YouTube or Netflix about the songs or movies that are most likely to suit our tastes are some happy surprises that are enabled through data sharing. These do reduce the time and hassle in finding the most suitable content.

Frankly, these suggestions —though irksome to some as they start to feel slightly intimidated by how well the internet knows them — are of great help. This is also one of the key reasons why digital natives continue to take their data privacy lightly. 

With Google going for the cookie cull by the end of 2022 – new technologies like trust tokens and Federated Learning of Cohorts will be deployed, offering users more privacy but allowing advertisers to find their target audience much the same way – one expects better days in the virtual world.

Recognizing that user consent should be at the center of data privacy, Google has also launched consent-based services such as Google Consent Mode, which allows websites to run all Google services based on the consent of users. With fewer tracking options available to advertisers, they will need to redefine the way in which they use data, especially when it comes to engagement, retargeting and the purchasing funnel.

In India, too, we have a good example of healthy data sharing in the Account Aggregator Framework, where user data present in silos is put together and made accessible to them, to their own advantage. All the information you provide your bank, insurer, etc. is collated, with your consent, and made available to you with a single click of your mouse, enabling you to access credit and other financial services with ease. This control over user data is a key provision of the Data Empowerment and Protection Architecture (DEPA). DEPA talks about the creation of consent managers, which will not read user data but enable its encrypted flows between different financial service providers.

Data breach: Understanding the full implication

In a world where everything is technology-fuelled, increasing instances of data breach is fast becoming a concern for consumers. So much so that one begins to show no surprise at the frequency of reports of data theft, a tendency which has prompted experts to come up with a name for it – “breach fatigue”.

Along with the entire world, India is still in its adolescent years when it comes to the internet. In a physical world, threats pertaining to data don’t feel as real as they make them sounds, unless something really unpleasant and truly personal takes place.

Therefore, individuals also need to be duly aware of the consequences of data breach and stick only with platforms well known for responsible data sharing.

User remains the king, as always

Users are generally not averse to sharing their information as long as they see virtue in it. But for this, operators need to ensure they are not doing so on the sly, without seeking an approval from the user. This is where the user interface comes into play. So, cookies should not be working behind the scenes to gather user information; a proper system must be put in place to let the user know you would like to access their data and whether they are comfortable in allowing that.

For fintech, data privacy is priority

With more and more businesses turning to software-powered financial solutions, companies and their fintech arms would have to put in place robust controls and processes to ensure secure data exchanges between service providers and users. The survival of these companies would in fact depend on how efficiently they are able to build a stable and lasting partnership with their customers.

Importance of user permissioned data

Even as user awareness is gradually undergoing a shift, various fintech companies in India Have realized consent driven data as a competitive advantage. Why? Consent driven data empowers individuals. It informs them of how their personal data will be used, and gives them the right to control their own digital identities. 

RBI launched account aggregators which is a financial data sharing system that eases the accessibility of financial data, and which empowers individuals with control over their personal financial data.

These aggregators cannot read or resell consumer data which makes data all the more protected and secured. The framework helps in collating and consolidating all the scattered financial data which further simplifies the road to credit access for both individuals as well as enterprises. 

The consent of the user is the most important aspect of this framework. In the end, data privacy and  consent will resonate with users more than anything, making them standout as a king!

Tartan’s Commitment

We are continually committed to building our products with privacy and security at its core. We are at the forefront of security and follow the industry best practices to ensure user data is fully encrypted. We have made it easy to share income and employment data in an ethical way by putting the control in the hands of the user  who owns the data. 

Looking for income and employment payroll verifications? Don’t hesitate to reach out to Tartan. By integrating Tartan-powered API, companies can now empower their workforce with easy and secure access to their work data. That further enables them with opportunities for customized financial products and services such as better insurance, faster loan approvals, etc.

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