“Trust is a belief or expectation that the word or promise by the merchant can be relied upon and the seller will not take advantage of the consumer’s vulnerability”.
Jarvenpaa et al, 1999
This subject has become one of high sensitivity and one that I have touched upon lightly in previous posts. For me, it’s simple, if you don’t want organisations having information about you then don’t put it on the internet. Unfortunately, however, I don’t think it is this simple. ..
All our online behaviour is monitored. I recently spent a lot of time on the Aviva website researching for a live brief and now this brands advertising is constantly appearing on my browser. I understand the logic behind this, and believe it is efficient and relevant for both the consumer and the brand in targeting/ receiving with relevance. However, after a few days of the same advert it has become slightly annoying, not to mention the fact that as a consumer I’m not even Aviva’s target market. I don’t believe this to be the problem though.
Sir Martin Sorrell stated that “If you inertia sell it, or people don’t know that it’s being done or approve its being done, then I think it’s a problem”. Decades have been and gone since consumers were perceived as a passive audience, in fact now they are the extreme opposite. Active consumers want to be in control of what they consume and how and where they do so. The founder of Facebook Mark Zuckerberg said: “The way that people think about privacy is changing a bit. What people want isn’t complete privacy. It isn’t that they want secrecy. It’s that they want control over what they share and what they don’t”. Suggesting that if privacy settings are made clearer then there would not be so much stigma surrounding the issue.
Altman’s theory suggests that we look for a level of optimisation in which our desired levels of privacy matches are actual level. Meaning we expect to receive privacy based on the amount of privacy we give ourselves. People do tend to share too much information about themselves through social networking sites such as Facebook. Therefore, in my opinion, they do not have a viable argument when they complain about privacy as they are the ones making the information available. Although I do believe permission should be asked for before taking such information. As mentioned in my post about ‘Ubiquitous Connectivity’ brands have to be careful not to annoy the consumer but keep an element of trust in their relationship with them.
I’d like to end this post on a recent article I read in which 3MGTG released a report foreseeing a drastic change in advertising over the next 12 months. This included adverts that resemble those used in the film ‘Minority report’. These ‘Gladverts’ will potentially address the consumers on a personal level and “serve an advert based on how you feel”. Whilst this is revolutionary technology and is bound to be a huge component in the future of advertising I can’t help but feel that it takes invasion of privacy to a whole new level.
What do you think?