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The Paradox of Privacy

Bill Nussey, Silverpop
by: Bill Nussey (@bnussey)
03 July 2008

I don’t usually dabble in psychology in my blog, but a recent post in the New York Times blog “Bits” really caught my attention.

According to some recent research about people’s attitudes toward safeguarding their personal information, a person’s willingness to share information varies entirely by the context in which it’s asked. Paradoxically, the more “official” and formal a Web site, and the more it expounds on the confidentiality of a person’s information, the less likely people are to provide that information. The study’s authors summarize that reminding people about confidentiality provokes them to worry more about it.

I can’t seriously suggest that marketers go out and cavalierly offer no assurances on privacy as part of an opt-in strategy. But this post does make me wonder if there is more room for creativity than I had thought in terms of how we marketers build our opt-in and registration pages.




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