Industry group issues engagement, data privacy guidelines

New guidelines on consumer engagement and data privacy have been issued by the Consumer Goods Forum.

The "Consumer Engagement Principles" were developed to promote data privacy and build greater consumer trust. "The industry-wide principles will act as a framework for how companies engage with their consumers, and are designed to promote an environment of trust and pro-active consumer communication," according to a press release by the forum.

"The principles will benefit all stakeholders as the industry looks to safeguard consumers' data and nurture greater consumer trust," the statement continued. Capgemini supported the process and provided industry insights as part of the development process, the forum said.

With the principles, the consumer goods industry has committed to a number of actions in how companies deal with data-driven consumer engagement and data privacy. These include:

  • Enabling consumers to easily choose whether and how their personal information is used and to have access to information on how their personal information is used, and the ability to correct it and/or have it removed;
  • Listening and responding to consumer feedback about the use of their personal data; preserving integrity in social media practices; and
  • Protecting the reliability and accuracy of consumers' personal information and, should things go wrong, being open about the status of their personal information.

"The goal is to have consumers view the industry as a responsible user and steward of consumer data and insights—thus forming the common foundation from which the digitally enabled value exchange can be optimized by individual companies," the forum said.

The Consumer Goods Forum, along with Capgemini, will host webinars in 2015 and develop an online portal dedicated to the principles.

"This is a significant step," said Muhtar Kent, chairman and CEO of The Coca-Cola Co. "Not only will these guidelines help prevent misuses of consumer data, they will also help anticipate and address the digital and data privacy challenges that the industry faces."

Pete Blackshaw, Nestlé global head of digital and social media, said: "Trust is viral, and can be lost in an instant in today's networked, always-on environment. The Consumer Engagement Principles are about taking an important first step in identifying common building blocks of trust in an increasingly complex, data and technology driven business context."

The Consumer Goods Forum is a global industry network that brings together the CEOs and senior management of some 400 retailers, manufacturers, service providers and other stakeholders across 70 countries. Its headquarters is in Paris.

For more:
- See the Consumer Goods Forum press release
- See the Consumer Goods Forum website

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