Data privacy regulations such as GDPR have been one of the biggest external factors affecting marketing practices in retail over the last few years. Although there has been extensive media coverage on the implications of GDPR for businesses and customers, 60% of customers do not understand how data privacy regulations protect them, nor do they see a difference in companies’ marketing practices and communications.

The significant gap between customer and company perception on GDPR efforts shows that companies have not effectively answered customers’ concerns regarding their personal data, nor have they demonstrated how their new marketing practices are in compliance with data privacy regulations. As similar laws begin to roll-out in other countries, what proactive steps will companies need to take to explain how their marketing and business practices respect customers’ privacy rights?

Embed privacy at the core of your brand

Being legally compliant with data privacy regulations is no longer enough to differentiate a brand from competitors. Customers like to align their spending habits with their identity and values and will choose companies that treat privacy as a brand pillar. Embedding privacy into your brand’s core goes beyond having the necessary certifications, it requires changing your mindset to promote a company structure that values “privacy by design” and puts data protection first.

A well-established and clear plan should be set up to provide guidance to all the different departments of the business on what data can be collected and how they can be used. This alignment is critical to the path to being fully GDPR compliant as it has a direct effect on customers’ experience with the brand.

Maintain open communication with your customers

It is critical to maintain active communication channels with your customers so that they are aware of the proactive steps you have taken to ensure that their privacy rights are not violated. Systems and processes should be put in place to facilitate the sharing of information with customers on what data is being collected and how that data is being used.

This requires developing messaging that is unique to each customer touchpoint, whether it is on your website or with staff at your physical stores, on how this will impact their interactions with your respective channels. The willingness to have open and transparent communication will allow you to build trust among your customers and ensure that your brand stays top-of-mind.

Invest in transparency

Privacy as a brand pillar not only requires you to reflect on your own business operations and decisions, but also ensure that the companies you choose to partner with, including technology firms, are in alignment with data privacy standards and best practices. With new technologies turning every digital and physical customer touchpoint into personal data, brands need to adopt technologies that are compliant by design to data privacy regulations.

A solution that has failed to take these regulations into account during the conception and design of their solution will never be fully compliant, and therefore will always be at risk of violating customers’ privacy rights. When evaluating a potential technology partner, ensure that their data privacy compliance has been certified by credible institutes, such as the CNIL. They should also have a Data Protection Officer (DPO) available to provide legal opinion as well as a Privacy Impact Assessment (PIA) made available to your legal team.

How has C2RO, a leading AI video analytics provider, achieved full GDPR compliance?

Data privacy has always been a top priority for us and at the core of everything we do and create at C2RO. We are very proud to be the first solution that allows for comprehensive journey analysis through video analysis that is fully GDPR-compliant and respects individual’s privacy rights.

“As an organization, we decided to make privacy a core part of our go-to-market strategy and we have built a technology stack from the ground up that complies to the strictest data privacy regulations such as GDPR in Europe, while significantly raising the bar on the types of insights we can provide and the accuracy of our data.” 

– Riccardo Badalone, Chief Executive Officer at C2RO

These innovations and philosophy have allowed us to build trust in the Retail market and strong relationships with Tier1 customers and strategic partners in the industry. Since launching C2RO Perceive™, we have deployed our privacy-aware video analytics solution at several retailers and shopping malls in North America and Europe.

Interested in adopting a video analytics solution, but don’t know how to evaluate a company’s compliance with data privacy regulations?

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