It feels like I’m channeling my inner Ron Swanson (from Parks and Recreation fame) with data privacy. I’m not against technology (obviously I am taking this course), and I’m not against data helping make my life easier, but I want it on my terms.
When I want to receive an email newsletter, I have to sign up for it. In most cases I have a lot of steps to complete in order to start receiving the newsletter:
- Go to the newsletter sign up landing page
- Provide my name and email address (Spoiler – it doesn’t even need to be real your name! #Gasp).
- Play a captcha game and acknowledge that I’m not a robot. Does anyone else see the irony in proving you are not a robot to a computer?
- Check the box acknowledging that I read the necessary CAN-SPAM disclosure.
- Sometimes the newsletter landing page will even ask how often I want to receive their communications and if there are additional topics that I might be interested in receiving.
- Click the submit button.
- Go to my email account and click the link the newsletter sent to confirm that everything I just completed is true and that I really want this newsletter. This double opt-in process is becoming more common in email marketing practices.
There are a lot of steps for a 10% discount code, free shipping on Cyber Monday, or to receive great content sent to my inbox. Most of us (not named Ron Swanson) accept this. My point is, I get to decide all of this on my terms.
I love the “Opt-in Culture” description in this Forbes article, Opt-Out vs. Opt-in. The article discusses block chain technology and how our culture will shift from an “opt-out” perspective when it comes to data gathering from apps and cookies to more of an “opt-in” culture where we will all get to decide what type of data we want to provide.
Right now the script is still flipped. More times than not, we have to opt-out of data collection like we do if we want to stop receiving Google remarking search ads. I think it’s starting to change. In the article, “What your Car Knows About You,” we learned that General Motors Co., Ford Motor Co., and Hyundai Motors Co. are collecting and sharing our car driving data, but now they are asking for our permission to use this data. However, I don’t think it’s always clear what data we are sharing, who the data is being shared with, and how is that data being used.
I’m not entirely Ron Swanson. I don’t have plans to throw my laptop in the dumpster and I’m OK with young kids playing on my front lawn. I do want our society to keep pushing for regulation with data collection and I think we need to keep pushing for the Opt-in Culture.
Source: White, Chad. “Single Opt-in vs. Double Opt-in” https://litmus.com/blog/single-opt-in-vs-double-opt-in-the-verdict-email-permission
Source: Radocchia, Samantha. “Opt-out vs. Opt-in” https://www.forbes.com/sites/samantharadocchia/2018/10/02/opt-out-versus-opt-in-how-blockchain-will-change-the-data-collection-culture/#156f14e41042
Source: Rogers, Christina. “What Your Car Knows About You.” https://www.wsj.com/articles/what-your-car-knows-about-you-1534564861?mod=searchresults&page=1&pos=6