Privacy – step on the road to trust?

Written by on March 12, 2015 in BillingViews, Opinion with 0 Comments

small man walking on the ropeWe have been saying for a while now that trust is one asset that operators must not overlook. A recent survey from Amdocs clearly shows that they are trusted more than Digital Service Providers (DSPs). News from MWC last week provides an early indication that operators not only agree but are taking action. Orange are putting themselves forward as privacy champions.

While this is encouraging news, operators must view the privacy issue as just one piece of developing the trust between them and their customers. Privacy is an issue that will remain in the spotlight for the next year or two, and already there is a serious and robust backlash against intruding upon people’s right to it. The argument, in the US anyway, will centre around their citizens’ First Amendment right to privacy. It is, of course, possible that if the Founding Fathers were alive today, they might advocate a change or two.

Trust is about managing customers’ expectations and keeping them safe in the digital world. Privacy is one piece of this, hacking is another, and another huge challenge for the industry.

Another is password management. Customers want security but they also want simplicity. They want one login, one password, or fingerprint or eye scan and then they want access to everything.

Operators are uniquely placed to provide this, and they should not think of it as a ‘premium’ service. Device manufacturers, in this, cannot control enough of the environment. Like customer service, it should be a focus that builds trust and loyalty. Then, when operators bring in Marketing to offer customers context based offers, they will be far more likely to take them up.

Orange is hoping to bring other operators on board the privacy train over the course of this year, with the help of the GSMA. This is the right approach, we believe, as the community is now too big to make fast progress through committees. Let us hope that they are also focusing on the wider issues of trust, such as passwords and security.

If they can become customers’ ‘trusted partner’ – as Orange, and we, describe it – then they will become masters of the digital eco-system.

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About the Author

About the Author: Alex was Founder and CEO of the Global Billing Association (GBA), a trade body focused on the communications sector. He is a sought after speaker and chairman at leading industry conferences, and is widely published in communications magazines around the world. Until it closed, he was Contributing Editor, OSS/BSS for Connected Planet. He is publisher of DisruptiveViews and previously BillingViews. .


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