I Always Feel Like Somebody’s Watching Me

A shield protects buildings from data theft.By Melonie Curry, MBA

I recently saw a news alert that Google purchased Fitbit. I already felt like they are tracking my every move and conversation (and they are), and I refused to provide them any additional data. So I turned off my Fitbit. Victory! I took control of my privacy. I gave up my Fitbit but what about my smartphone, connected car, and smart TV?

Certain technologies have become a daily necessity. Therefore, we ignore or can bear the loss of privacy. When introducing new technology, it’s vital to know how it meets a vital need. Identify your target segment, understand how the technology fulfills their need, and then you can tailor your messaging to establish trust. Trust will lead to adoption.

Who needs this technology? What are the common characteristics of our target customer? What will motivate them to adopt this technology? What data do you have that will help answer these questions? We must be very careful when using data to target current customers. They should not feel like Big Brother is watching their every move. Our communications should remain general. More personal marketing communications should require the user to opt-in and their use be limited.

Credit card numbers, phone numbers, license plate numbers, vehicle registration addresses and daily routines–parking providers have access to tons of private information. Its our charge to respect our customer’s privacy, handle the data securely, and use the data to improve their experience and while respecting their privacy.

Melonie Curry, MBA, is a staff analyst with ParkHouston, City of Houston. She will be presenting on this topic at the 2020 IPMI Conference & Expo, May 31 – June 3, in San Antonio, Texas. For information and to register, click here.