Should companies fear “CONSENT”?

Another year yet we still hear and read about this same new year’s business resolution.

“2020: Make trust first priority…”

So what? Enough with words, actions need to be taken.

The loss of trust.

Today, if you’re in the business of collecting sensitive personal data, building trust with your customers is essential for growing your business.

For many years now, users have been misguided and left in the dark regarding the processing of their own personal data. As a result, they tend to be more reluctant when it comes to sharing confidential information.

It’s simple: if your customers don’t trust you, they won’t provide you with their most sensitive data – and that is especially true in the healthcare sector.

Trust needs restoring.

Privacy and data protection regulations are trying to compensate for that fact, but the truth is: most companies still fail at implementing great consent solutions to keep data collection secure.

Yet, consent is most certainly your best opportunity for restoring that trust, dear business owners. Instead of approaching consent with fear and restraint, you should embrace the opportunity to win new customers and engage better with your existing ones!

But, first thing first: does your customer trust you? Truly?

Enhancing trust requires rethinking consent.

From a business perspective, “consent” is a legal requirement that a company should get in order to collect, use and further profit from their customers’ data.

Certainly, this way of thinking is precisely why most companies fail at implementing consent: they use it as a way of protecting themselves instead of taking it as an opportunity to build a trusting relationship with their customers.

So what is the key to rethinking consent?

If the “customer is King” for business, “Consent is King” for trust.

Consent is not about you.

From a customer-perspective, consent is their right to fully understand and choose how you would actually use and collect their data. So don’t make it all about you.

Rightfully ask for consent and don’t let the prospect of a quick profit blind you. Chances are: you’ll get a lot more out of a lasting relationship.

Moreover, consent should be easy to give or revoke any given time. And when it comes to sensitive personal data (like health-related data), it should always be explicit.

It should be “freely given”.

Be straightforward and simple when requesting access to data. Even if you are tempted to get more data by using gamification strategies, be careful. While it is one thing to motivate your customers through games and a user-friendly interface, it’s another to get consent over addiction.

Simply explain how you will turn the shared data into meaningful insightful feedback to your customers. And don’t use dark patterns like rewards and punishment to discourage your customers from exercising their rights to privacy.

Instead, why not use these same techniques to get a “specific, informed and unambiguous” consent?

Dynamic consent.

Dynamic consent is a new approach to consent that allows companies to put data users back at the center of the decision making process.

More specifically, it is a personalized digital interface that enables two-way communication between data users and data collectors, thus allowing for customers to give or revoke consent at any step of the way.

Generally, it is that part that companies fear the most: the risk of having users withdrawing their consent which will lead to less available data to be processed.

Turning risks into opportunities!

Of course, there is a risk to allow your customers to revoke consent.

But there is also a risk not to! From GDPR fines to having customers quitting your application due to the lack of flexibility, risks of losing money and data are pretty much everywhere and are no justification for bad practices and unrightful solutions.

Also, with each risk comes an equal opportunity! In that case: building a strong, compliant growing business. What is to fear about that?

Additional benefits.

New customers, further engagement from existing ones, relevant insights based on consent choices, a proof-regulation, compliant business, a lawful, ethical and challenging work environment… There are many ways in which you can actually benefit from properly implementing and managing consent, but only if you choose to!

Just remember that building trust and empowering your customers with transparency and choice will not only benefit them, but also you and your company in the long run.

Additionally, consider that not managing consent properly also has its drawbacks.

2020: Trust in consent-power to strengthen your business!

While most companies often think only about “lost profits”: How much will I lose if they revoke consent? Would they have consented if they didn’t know?… be the one to win profits!

If you haven’t ever considered how much you could actually gain from properly implementing and managing consent, after reading this article, we hope that you will.

Wishing you all the best and success for 2020, Stephanie & Evelina.

Next article is coming soon!


Stephanie Tischhauser, Privacy Expert & Digital Content Writer @ Pryv SA
Evelina Georgieva, co-founder @ Pryv SA