January 28th was International Data Privacy Day. A day where we raise awareness and celebrate the steps the industry has taken in protecting your customer’s data.
In 2024, this day is more important than ever. So, to commemorate International Data Privacy Day, we’re taking a magnifying glass to some of the most jaw-dropping campaigns (good and bad) over the last few years, which have had data privacy at their very core.
These campaigns are our favourites because they broke the mould. They took steps outside to box to ensure their customer’s data is precisely that, the customer’s data and no one else’s. Before we dive into them, let’s look at why data is so important.
Why is data privacy important?
You must have heard of Netflix’s The Great Hack or The Social Dilemma. The handling or mishandling of customer data is becoming more digestible to the general public. Customers are becoming more aware of how their data is used and increasingly demand more control over it.
So, what’s been brought into the light?
Many companies are profiting from the exploitation of personal data, often entirely under the radar. We have seen a colossal clampdown since the introduction of GDPR back in 2018.
What’s worse, it isn’t just large corporations misusing data to increase their revenue. Cybercrime has skyrocketed over the last few years, 400% to be exact between 2009 and 2019. These criminal Organisations are getting increasingly more intelligent, mimicking the writing styles of CEOs and even preying on mothers! Companies have to sharpen the tools in their data privacy toolboxes to limit the repercussions.
When we looked at some great campaigns with a strong data privacy theme, the ones we liked the most were those that thought outside the box. The companies mentioned took brave leaps of creativity to ensure their customers were safe when dealing with them online.
Here are some of our favourites from the last few years:
#1 WhatsApp Privacy Campaign – Making data privacy relatable
WhatsApp has always been advocates of data protection. With end-to-end encryption on their service, no one can spy on your messages or take information from them, not even WhatsApp themselves. Their latest campaign saw some incredibly relatable situations where their end-to-end encryption saved the day.
Data and data privacy isn’t always the most accessible concept to grasp for people outside of the industry. We love the way WhatsApp has taken everyday, real-life situations and turned data privacy into something easy and manageable to understand.
#2 FromHome2Games – Putting Children’s welfare first
In June 2021, UK Sport raised a campaign in collaboration with Team GB, Paralympics and the English Institute of Sport in efforts to search for Athletes of the future.
From Home 2 The Games has been specifically designed to engage and encourage young people from all communities to explore their Olympic and Paralympic sports possibilities.
As part of the process, potential athletes will be encouraged to upload their scores and fill in a short form about themselves and their sporting backgrounds.
This campaign specifically targeted young children; therefore, an awareness of data privacy was essential. It was essential to offer parental-guided applications, so that information on the parents was collected while also allowing the parents to be involved in their application process.
The team used the services of SuperAwesome. They’re an organisation dedicated to making the internet safe for young audiences.
We love how the campaign organisers understood the gravity of holding information on a younger audience and acted following that.
#3 Apple iOS 15 & iOS 17 – Placing the customer in the driving seat
It was the blow that the market didn’t expect. Apple updated its security settings to iOS15 & iOS17. This update shields its users from companies exploiting their behaviour online when using an Apple device. Apple allows users to reject tracking pixels in their emails and shield their IP addresses when online.
While it sent shockwaves through the industry, it also took a much-needed step towards protecting you and me online. While simultaneously forcing organisations to respect the privacy of their contacts’ privacy, developing content that is genuinely customer-focused forced marketers to get back to a more people-first approach.
This campaign has forced everyone, Deployteq included, to take a mirror to what statistics they deem necessary and how they view their customers—allowing marketers to rethink their strategies and get more personal with the individuals they’re selling to.
#4 JD Wetherspoons – Deleting their database… on purpose?
We include this entry to cover the good and the bad of data protection. Not because we think what Wetherspoons did is best practice, but consequences when your data-protection procedures are not handled with the utmost care. We can’t say for sure WHY Wetherspoons decided to take this action, but it certainly had the industry talking!
In 2017, two years after JD Weatherspoons experienced a data breach, and amid fines being handed out like parking tickets, Wetherspoons consciously deleted over 600,000 email addresses from their system and entirely removed email as a marketing channel. When protection procedures aren’t tight, and there’s no way to prove or disprove consent, wiping your whole database may seem like the only way to be sure you won’t receive a hefty fine from the ICO.
Wetherspoons went on to keep promoting on Facebook and now via their App. We think it was a knee-jerk reaction, and a simple reactivation campaign could have solved the issue!
Food for thought
For International Data Privacy Day, we hope we’ve given you some food for thought. Some inspiration to review and rethink your current procedures to benefit not only your customers but your organisation and its reputation too!
If you think your procedures could do with a spring clean, you know we’re always here to help. Our data consultants can put you in the right direction to a clean, safe and happy database in no time. Reach out today to see what we can do for you.