Digital Opinion South Africa

#FutureFit Yourself: Do you trust companies with your biometric data?

This quote gave me a good chuckle. "For a list of all the ways technology has failed to improve the quality of life, please press three" - Alice Kahn. With our recent Stage 4 load shedding, most of us could not get the "quality of life" because no power means no access to the technology unless of course, you are fortunate to own a generator or an inverter.
Image source: Gallo/Getty.
Image source: Gallo/Getty.

My husband and I recently escaped the city life for a weekend break away to the coast, to get our own “batteries” recharged from this insanely busy year. We arrived at our apartment home, equipped with state-of-the-art tech features, which I must admit was very impressive.

The resort is designed to provide a frictionless experience with no reception, no human intervention apart from arrival at the boom gate and the guests of course. One of the features to access the apartment building and all its facilities required biometric security.

Here was the challenge, the biometric security system crashed for 2 days, and for most of our stay we had no access to facilities and had to participate in a scavenger hunt for a security guard to give us access to the resort where we resided.

Here is the strange thing, I was more comfortable to endure the inconvenience of the system not working than providing the holiday resort with my fingerprints. This is why?

My data: DNA sovereignty vs digital sovereignty

I don’t trust the majority of businesses with my intimate data as my entire life and livelihood is connected to my fingerprints. What guarantee do I have that my DNA sovereignty is protected and managed securely if my digital sovereignty and personal information is not protected in the current day and age?

Many of us have been exposed by data breaches in the past by financial institutions, tech giants and even realty companies? The current state of affairs is that technology is evolving so quickly and the laws to protect our data is so far behind, it’s alarming.

We’ve lost control of our personal data. Sir Tim Burners-Lee says

As our data is then held in proprietary silos, out of sight to us, we lose out on the benefits we could realise if we had direct control over this data and chose when and with whom to share it.
Building and maintaining trust
The Connected Marketer is a marketing approach we offer to our clients, specifically aimed to encourage businesses to be more authentic and transparent in their business practices. To build connected brands for the 21st century requires a customer-centric, data-centric, technology-centric, and ethic centric business principles and approaches to earn and maintain the trust of your customers.

The one thing I have been evangelising for the past 18 months is that we need to go back to the basics in business and fortify our businesses in sound business practices and principles to earn and maintain the trust of our customers and to build successful, growing businesses. I recently wrote on the 11 Principles of The Connected Marketer that might give you more scope as to why data sovereignty is one of the cornerstones of a successful business.

I close off with a quote by Alex Mehr that says it so well:

In order to understand any complex thing, we must first understand its first principles. Ironically, as systems grow and become more complex, it becomes easier to lose sight of those first principles.

About Carmen Murray

Carmen Murray is one of the most influential modern marketers in South Africa. Her strong background in content, digital, mobile, innovation, and data analytics allows her to identify emerging trends and conceptualise disruptive communication strategies deployed with precision. The customer and their needs are always at the heart of her approach.
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