The Edit Blog

On the Road & Online – Customer Journeys & Connected Cars

ARTICLE BY J Cromack
READ TIME: 4 mins
9th May 2022

Connected vehicles and smart devices are now part of our everyday lives, and with that comes the generation of large amounts of personal data of significant value to first-party collectors and third parties.

In our latest blog, Edit’s Executive Director for Partnerships, Innovation & Privacy, J Cromack, looks at how this data be harnessed appropriately to create meaningful connections with customers.  

J has accumulated over 25-years’ experience in the Marketing sector. This includes over five years as CEO and Executive Director at leading the not-for-profit marketing specialist Wood for Trees, and five years as CEO of the GIG at DST (formerly the Lateral Group), where he reported to The Salocin Group’s founder and Executive Chairman, Nick Dixon.

More recently in 2014, J co-founded MyLife Digital, a data-privacy business built on the principle that individuals should be able to control the use of their personal data, a ground-breaking concept given this was several years prior to the introduction of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). In April 2021 MyLife Digital was acquired by Data Privacy & Information Security specialists, DataGuard.

 The positives of connected vehicles 

 Connected vehicles today generate so much data that most of it is simply deleted because there is often no lawful basis for storing it, or it is collected, processed, and often shared with 3rd parties, albeit anonymously without the individual understanding fully, because they haven’t read pages of privacy notices when purchasing the vehicle.

However, car manufacturers are starting to recognise that the transparent collection and processing of this data can deliver highly personalised experiences and be used to build trust and loyalty with consumers.

The more transparent, promoted and shared the benefits are of connected vehicles, the more stakeholders would choose to participate in the system for mutual benefit. And the more connectivity there is, the greater those benefits become bringing us closer society level benefits, such as traffic management, grid management for charging and development of infrastructure.

Some of the personalised benefits we are already seeing include understanding tyre wear and sending a tyre offer with a retailer close to the location the car is usually parked for. Pre-setting the sat nav and recommending the best route based on journey history, and reduction of insurance premiums based on careful driving.

Today’s consumers are far more likely to share data if they understand the value exchange, whilst manufacturers can build loyalty through highly personalised experiences which make their customers lives better.

So how does the connected vehicle ecosystem deliver transparency, enable meaningful participation, and makes lives better?

Transparency shouldn’t just mean a privacy notice is referenced to meet regulatory compliance, rather consumable slices of information explaining the exchange, that are easy for an individual to understand and have meaningful control over. 

Progressive Consent Capture

Whilst necessary to concisely meet regulatory requirements, organisations still largely bundle consent for different purposes into single consent to all buttons, then operate in a manner which suggests all barriers to consent have been lifted.

With this lack of transparency, how can the value exchange be clearly established? If consumers feel their trust is being misused, they are far less likely to be open to further data exploitation, even where it conveys positive benefits.

This is where organisations are missing a trick and increasing the number of purposes for which data can be used over time, in a way that is transparent, communicates the value and builds trust by giving the consumer choice.

Connected cars have multiple touchpoints with individuals, from the onboard touchscreen to the mobile app that can be used to control the vehicle.  These are often authenticated journeys, so progressively capturing consent and preferences linked to a data subject should enable organisations to build a valuable data set which can be used for multiple purposes to add more value. 

Making Data Accessible

With transparency being crucial to build trust and with regulators focusing on this principle, it is essential that connected vehicles and those that use telematic systems engage in a way that’s totally upfront and honest when seeking to make use of personal data for an organisations’ own use or when sharing to 3rd parties.

What better way of being transparent and providing meaning control than giving the individual access to the data that has been collected about them?

This could be via a dashboard with useful insights that can be interrogated and the ability to download a copy of your data.  A preference centre that can be reviewed to see what permissions have been granted as well as the ability for the individual to provide further insight to their interests and current life circumstances. Quality, zero-party data that can be used to provide hyper-personalised experiences.

Uber is a great example of an organisation who is putting privacy at the heart of the consumer experience. Next time you’re on the app, go to the Privacy Centre in Settings and you’ll see a great example of clearly communicating how your data is being used, the ability to access a copy of your data, as well as some useful insights about your previous trips via a dashboard. 

Going beyond global regulations 

With data protection laws being strengthened across the globe, it will be difficult for organisations to manage jurisdictional requirements.

Today any conversation around data needs to be human-centric, and for advertisers and marketers, it must have consumers at heart. Successfully navigating data ethics, privacy and data protection regulations is now non-negotiable.

At Edit, we support our clients to apply these three principles that go beyond regulations and build trust with consumers whilst generating better quality data, more meaningful insights, and highly personalised experiences.

  • From the volume of data collected to data collected transparently, granularly and with meaningful control (consent/object) 
  • From data owned by the organisation to data owned by the individual 
  • From data freely harvested by organisations to data held in trust by organisations on behalf of the individual 

 To learn more about what to do with captured data to create inspired customer journeys that build loyalty, read Edit’s latest report