The report provides investors a thorough look at the privacy landscape and examines the potential impact of issues facing the Web ecosystem. The report covers both current (and potential future) legislation, in both Europe and the United States. From a financial perspective there are challenges that come in compliance as well as risks involved with doing nothing.
The Citigroup analysts make the case that protecting a visitor's privacy is a great way to protect a company's reputation and that happy visitors are more likely to be repeat visitors. The analysts also remind us that protecting privacy is not just a job for companies engaging in online behavioral advertising. The retail industry too stands a lot to gain (or lose) from effectively managing their customers privacy. (As highlighted in an earlier blog post, Keynote data shows that 84% of retailers use third-party tracking on their sites).
What really stood out was the potential negative impact to the smaller companies in the Web ecosystem. While big companies such as Google seem to make the news when it comes to privacy, they have the resources to deal with the issue and also have policy safeguards in place to protect them legally. The big players do enough in revenue so that the cost of compliance is a relative drop in the bucket. The little guy however can't necessarily afford an in-house solution. Because they're smaller and not yet members of the Web's ruling class, they can't ask that users submit to strict the Terms & Conditions demanded by a Google or Apple.
The good news is that Web Privacy Monitoring gives regular companies options. Any company engaged with Keynote for performance monitoring can now add Keynote Web Privacy Tracking (WPT) to their monitoring regimen. WPT gives exposes the third party companies tracking site users along with details about the potential privacy exposure. Monitoring runs around the clock allowing smaller to better manage their privacy exposure without the overhead afforded by companies with relatively bottomless pockets. Keynote can also make it affordable to conduct a privacy audit (recommended in the report).
For the little guy when it comes to protecting privacy, doing nothing can be costly. Waiting for government to lay down the law may not be wise either. Consider facing the issue head on with a cost-effective solution for privacy monitoring and take better control of you company's financial future.