Monday, June 11, 2007

In Corporations They Don’t Trust - New York Times

An interesting angle on the privacy debate was revealed in a piece by Paul Brown in the New York Times a couple of days ago. The gist of the piece was that "senior executives really do not have a clue." Brown cited a study in the McKinsey Quarterly, the business journal of McKinsey & Company, that found “a trust gap between consumers and global corporations, as well as a lack of understanding among business leaders about what consumers really expect from companies.” For example, when asked what three concerns would be most important to them over the next five years,

“Executives predicted consumers would put job losses and offshoring first, followed by privacy and data security, and the environment...[whereas]...almost half of the consumers picked environmental issues, followed by pension and other retirement benefits, and health care.”

In other words, CxOs think consumer concern about privacy and data security is greater than it really is. Why would this be, apart from the obvious generalized conclusion that CxOs are out of touch with consumers? I suspect it has something to do with the relentless pressure from security and privacy advocates as well as extensive negative media coverage of security breaches that expose private data. And you might add to that the increasing likelihood that such breaches will be followed by lawsuits, some of which may name CxOs. They may be out of touch with consumers but they are very likely to be in touch with their own self-interests.

No comments: