A pandemic like the one we’re living through now is fought with data as much as it is with medicine and masks. But the novelarrived smack in the middle of a new awakening and rebellion against the harvesting of our personal data. Now what?
Market research company eMarketer just released a substantial new report on the intersection of COVID-19 and data privacy. The report, which is behind a paywall, suggests some of us will still consent to techniques like contact tracing after the pandemic subsides. “Once you see the contact tracing app, once you see that it works, maybe you’ll be willing to (continue to) use something similar if you’re convinced it’s adequately protecting your privacy,” says Victoria Petrock, eMarketer Principal Analyst.
One study cited by eMarketer found a bare majority of us accept health and location tracking to monitor those who’ve tested positive for the virus, while other uses are opposed by a majority of respondents.
Most of us think of contact tracing via phones when this topic comes up, but eMarketer describes how everything from credit card transactions to facial recognition is being tracked in various regions around the world. This data is used to compile profiles who has or is spreading the coronavirus. “The health community is reaching consensus in terms of learning more about this virus,” says Petrock. “When it comes to the populace, we’re in a very divided time. Anyone can look at some of this data from a different perspective and have a different take.”
Marketers are advised to avoid knee-jerk opportunism with data that’s being gathered right now, beyond the guard rails established by the GDPR and CCPA privacy regulations. Targeting people based on data they’ve shared due to COVID-19 can be an offensive turn-off and could limit their willingness to share data when the next wave or the next virus hits.
Victoria Petrock shared many more insights into data privacy and COVID-19, watch them all in her video conversation with Brian Cooley, above.
Now What is a video interview series with industry leaders, celebrities and influencers that covers trends impacting businesses and consumers amid the “new normal.” There will always be change in our world, and we’ll be here to discuss how to navigate it all.
The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or health objectives.
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