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January newsletter: EU law looks set to mandate organisations to change their attitude

Posted on: Thursday 19th of January 2012

In this first issue of the year we highlight some of the proposals in the leaked draft of the European Data Protection legislation and we’ll give you a preview of our research looking at the privacy policies of UK online retailers. Also covered is our thinking as we debunk a few myths in a forthcoming series of blog posts ‘5 ways to misdirect resources in 2012’. In the market round-up we’re spoilt for choice but have picked out some of the key news.

EU law looks set to mandate electronic data handbacks

We are expecting to see the first draft of the EU’s proposed overhaul of European Data Protection legislation in the next few weeks. A draft leaked before Christmas suggests there’ll be a much tighter interpretation of consumer ‘consent’, further clampdowns on behavioural targeting, a new midata-like right for consumers to have their data released “in an electronic and structured format”, a new right to be forgotten, and lots more. We’ll provide a detailed review when the finalised version is published.

How customer friendly are retailers’ privacy policies?

The days when organisations’ privacy policies were the ‘small print that nobody reads’ are over. Privacy policies are becoming a means of building trust-based data sharing relationships with customers and dashboards where individuals can manage their relationships with their suppliers.

We’ve just finished reviewing the privacy policies of the UK’s top 100 online retailers – the sector where many consumers most commonly experience the benefits and pitfalls of e-commerce. Some preview findings: so far not one company has implemented the new EU cookie laws; nearly a half are in urgent need of a general overhaul. We’ll be publishing the research on Data Protection Day at the end of January – so watch out for this on our website. The summary report will be free to download.

The personal data store market

Ctrl-Shift is about to commission some research into the market for ‘personal data stores’. The aim of the research is to look objectively at the companies that are offering some form of personal data store (or locker as they are sometimes called) to enable people to understand more about these new entrants and which ones should be on their radar. If you’d like to help shape the key questions you’d like answered or have suggestions regarding organisations you’d like us to analyse, please get in touch before January 27th.

5 ways to misdirect resources in 2012

In a series of blog posts, we’ll be exploring five bandwagons (Big Data, multi-channel, behavioural targeting, social media and behavioural economics) which may be diverting attention from even bigger and more important challenges.

First up is Big Data, Big Dead End which is becoming many organisations’ next big displacement activity as they invest huge amounts of time, money, resources and effort chasing a mirage while not addressing the biggest, most important opportunity: information logistics.

Do you want to help shape consumer policy priorities?

Consumer Focus will be holding a series of roundtable discussions over the next few weeks to challenge, augment and prioritise the content of our research report which identifies the potential downsides for consumers of the new digital environment. If you’d like attend one of the sessions and be part of the discussion helping to shape consumer policy priorities please email Claire and she’ll pass on your details.

Timeline for developments in the control shift

At our next, fully-booked, Explorers’ Club meeting, which is taking place on January 26th, we’ll be plotting the timeline for the control shift. The output of this discussion will be posted on our Explorers’ Club Linkedin Group. If you’d like to join the Group, please email Claire.

Chris Nutt joins the team

We’re delighted that Chris Nutt will be joining Ctrl-Shift at the beginning of February. Chris has a 20 year track record in helping organisations harness technology – mainly in the retail area – and so adds considerable experience to our team. He’ll play an important role in our growth as we continue to research and advise organisations about the implications and possibilities created by consumer empowerment.

Market news

As usual for this time of year there have been some 2012 trend predictions. We looked at some of the consumer empowerment trends. Deloitte has picked out the top 10 technology trends for 2012 and this article in Forbes takes a business perspective.

Miicard (which provides a digital passport to prove who you say you are) and Callcredit have announced a strategic partnership to bring to market a completely new consumer-friendly Electronic Identity and Verification service.