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.


  • Nouman

    oh, i never thought like this :O
    it really is worth sharing man :-)

  • Kamran Bukhari

    Good point.. Agreed!! People gets exploited in innocence. There is no one to guide them about their privacy rights. What if they tell me that we are keeping privacy control and still my data gets exposed? Whom to blame? Whose the real culprit?

    I happen to come across this theater performance awhile ago. There the advertiser was asking on people to write down their names and contact numbers for future correspondence. I didn’t put in my number and went over to the advertiser and inquired about the data they are going to keep. The advertiser said “LEADS, my fried LEADS!!!”..Privacy just got exposed!!!

  • Good info :)

  • yasir

    It is true that the most of the web sites are owned by the westerners and our young generation is floating thier every information at the dispodal of site owners.

    The young females are floating their pictures and other private information which the israeli n jew agencies may keep it safe with them.

    The solution to this is that there should be friendship sites whcih must be owned locally.

    And even if some one gives his.her personal information innocently and without having any idea of the consequences then there should be some way of retirieval .

    Now our information is not safe as it has been loaded too much on face book, twiter, orkut etc .

    • Yasir

      First of all our Jews brothers don’t need pictures of Pakistani girls. They give a damn about us. They have more beautiful people to look at. :P
      Get a life.

      Yes, we don’t have any privacy policy in our country and sadly most of the forms even ask for very personal information. I recently saw a clubs membership form asking about monthly income ( which is somewhat ok), but then goes on to ask about your residence and whether it is flat or bangalow and is it rented or purchased.
      It then asks about your car registration, type of car and whether it is leased or purchased, etc

      People should avoid giving every information a form asks for. The company certainly doesn’t need to know if if you have rented a house or you own it and you drive a mehran or a civic but yes they will be able to properly judge your monetary worth, which they don’t need and have to. Probably the information is sold quite freely as the amount of marketing sms and emails we receive are usually of the products we have interest in. I always receive electrical goods related emails while my Dad receives email regarding roof treatment etc.

  • omerfarooq

    Now, I know how so much spam comes in to me.
    That was really one of the best awareness articles of Pro.

  • Hi Amir,

    Good work I must say. You may need to add another aspect of privacy, check your facebook inbox for my message that I sent you around a week ago :)

    Regards,
    Saad

    • admin

      Got that message Saad – will come on it some day : – )

  • Jahanzeb

    As afar as i know, Banks started this thing with the start of consumer banking. Their tele marketers who possessed such data switched banks frequently as they were on contractual or even on daily wedges in some cases. What kind of respect you would expect for data privacy from such employees who were treated like animals. But in 5 star hotels, data is secured by all means and strict monitoring is also there to prevent any breach in database as hotel’s databases contain extreme private information of their guests e.g. credit card numbers with expiry dates and codes to use online etc. So as far as 5 star hotels are concerned, Privacy policy is present and implemented long time back.