Rising Trend of Memberships without Privacy Policy

Importance of Customers’ privacy policy has been realized widely now. Practices are in play in order to protect any individuals’ loss due to failures/breach or misuse of customers’ data by any means.

If you just visit any famous garments store, frozen food store or any 3 to 5 star hotel etc, you are may be offered “Membership” – Free of cost packed with bundle of benefits for future purchasing.

Most of the Customer’s find it good and worthy to have a membership card, in order to get discounts in future and some of them may also want it just to maintain their societal status.

In very similar manner, I was offered for membership card from my favorite Garments brand store. When asked about the privacy policy for my data, which I will give them through the form – crew went silent but later on store manager tried to convince me with verbal proofs of customer privacy that they maintain.

Now question here is, why should I ask for customer privacy policy?

Answer is pretty explanatory, if you get frequent “CREDIT CARD” offer Calls from anonymous sources, or you may start getting “Promotional SMS” for any product or service, or SPAM emails that you never subscribed to – If you are facing any such situation, then consider yourself on the SPAM list – thanks to data breach at one of the spots where you left your identity.

With this data breach, marketing companies may not only get your contact data but some very crucial information regarding the garments brand you wear, or the grocery you purchase in summer and winter, your favorite drink and the list goes on.

Though, in Pakistan, marketing companies are not much familiar with such benefits of data they can get. But definitely, it is not be too far to experience all these advantages marketers will get.

So why not encounter now?

Offering membership cards is not a CRIME, as it comes with mutual benefit for both business and the customer. But there are certain rules and regulations to be followed, if businesses are not capable of maintaining data security then they may be committing unforeseen crime.

Let us draw some Recommendations here

  • Marketers must ensure
    • Security of customers’ data
    • There must not be any violations, for instance, transfer of data without customer will or any other profitability aligned with it.
    • Membership form attributes. There must be policy w.r.t membership attributes, like there must be limitations for asking information’s.
  • Violation of policy by any mean must be punished by high fines and even cancellation of such offers.
  • Membership card offers and their deliverance must be insured.

As this is still related to “DATA” & “INFORMATION” it might comes under PTA or NADRA to regulate such measures for local markets to design proper policy for such scenarios prevailing in the markets.

This will not only help in maintaining customers’ privacy, but it will also help the government in knowing the detailed demographics of the Nation.

Bottom Line: Say no to Membership Cards that come with no Privacy Policy.