The New Privacy Frontier: Creating a Better Mobile Experience

11/06/2014 06:59 pm ET Updated Jan 06, 2015

The discussion over data privacy is not new and the natural tension between the objectives of consumers and businesses as it relates to consumer privacy has only gotten more complicated in our rapidly changing world.

Mobility adds another layer of complexity to this puzzle. In this new frontier, context becomes an important touchstone for creating a secure mobile environment, or a term that is emerging called "context-aware privacy." By providing context, there are steps both consumers and businesses can take to help bridge the gap in this new frontier.

First, lets discuss the consumer. Looking at privacy through the lens of the consumer, they are confused, concerned and not feeling as if they are in the driver's seat. Moreover, the underlying security frameworks are constantly under attack. Major security breaches are commonplace and seemingly an everyday occurrence. Ultimately, consumer confidence is low, and the line between what is real and what is hype is muddled and indistinct.

Consumers now must be conscious about what location and other activity information they are sharing purposefully or inadvertently. For instance, what consumers want to share with their bank is vastly different than what they want to share with their favorite online retailer.

In this new frontier, consumers will see immediate benefits by constantly asking themselves questions such as:

• Who am I interacting with and from what device?
• What value will I get from 'sharing' information? Is it really necessary?
• What is my provider doing to protect me and do I trust them, their intent and execution?

On the other side of the equation, businesses are constantly trying to stay ahead of the rapidly changing competitive landscapes and to innovate across not one or two, but on many devices.

In this new frontier, businesses need to provide context for their consumers. In order to do so, businesses must continue to try and understand who their consumers are, what problems they are facing and drive solutions to best meet their current and future needs.

Here are some steps businesses can take in this new frontier:

• Learn their consumers' hot buttons and what will resonate with them and motivate them to take action.
• Find out how their consumers prefer to learn about new solutions and work hard to leverage those avenues and forums for their benefit.
• Find out how their consumers share information and experiences with their personal community and if appropriate, participate in that community with the goal of educating and generating new adopters of applications.
• Finally, test, test, test fearlessly. Figure out what works, what doesn't and then execute.

In the end, businesses can create great, personalized mobile experiences for their consumers by never forgetting the old adage, "the customer is king."

Providing context-driven privacy will help bridge the natural tension between the objectives and concerns of consumers and businesses. In turn, businesses will find continuous opportunities to interact with and provide value to their consumers in new and creative ways, wherever they are, on their preferred device.

About the Author: Kate Bolseth is chief executive officer of Jingit LLC with deep experience in leading global operations across professional services, customer support, maintenance, logistics, and product strategy and development. Jingit is the first real-time, events-based payments and engagement platform that plays at the intersection of the $1.2-trillion payments and the $400-billion advertising industries and connects the dots between the two before, during and after a transaction. Hear Kate speak on the topic of privacy issues in a mobile environment at MobCon on Nov. 14. Register at