Data Privacy After Snowden and Target
The cost benefits of transitioning members’ banking activity to the digital channel are well known. The more banking that members do electronically – via website, email or text message – the better the bottom line for their financial institution of choice.
But what if members stop trusting the technology? How would your organization react if online banking became less appealing? And what can you do to reassure members who may be feeling skittish about the Internet and email?
Consider another survey, this one from 1999, when the Wall Street Journal and NBC asked 2,000 adult Americans what they feared most in the coming century. Topping the list was “loss of personal privacy,” which 29% of respondents said was their number one concern, well ahead of overpopulation, acts of terrorism, and racism. While those concerns might have shifted after 9/11, there can be little doubt that privacy is again top-of-mind for many of your members.
What does all this mean for credit unions? For example, should they become vocal critics of the NSA? Not necessarily. If your members are mainly federal and military personnel you might find they weigh the benefits of surveillance versus loss of privacy differently from the general population. But it might not hurt to back broad calls for surveillance reforms, such as those proposed by tech companies in their open letter to the government.