Tech Giants Taking Lax Approach to Customer Data

Tech Giants Taking Lax Approach to Customer Data

Tech Giants Taking Lax Approach to Customer Data

Recent developments highlight concerning practices by major tech companies regarding customer data usage and transparency.

Meta has announced it will halt plans to use data from EU citizens to train its AI systems. This decision comes amid increasing scrutiny over data privacy in the region. However, outside the EU and UK, Meta will proceed with its strategy to train AI on user-generated content from its social media platforms. Meta justifies this by stating that the posts on Facebook and Instagram are public content, chosen by users to be shared openly.

Meanwhile, Adobe has come under fire from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) in the United States. The FTC's lawsuit alleges that Adobe deliberately made it difficult for customers to cancel subscriptions for its products, such as Photoshop.

According to the complaint, Adobe steered users towards annual subscriptions paid monthly, without adequately disclosing the hefty cancellation fees that could total hundreds of dollars. This practice effectively "trapped" users in expensive contracts.

Sridhar Iyengar, Managing Director of Zoho Europe, commented: “It goes without saying that customers should be at the heart of any business, so seeing some tech giants taking a lax approach to customer data and trust is concerning.”

“Businesses and consumers today are more privy than ever to how their data is being used, and data should belong to them and them alone. However, far too many tech vendors and search engines capture customer data, with some monetising them for use by other companies. Even if data isn’t being monetised, capturing data without consent to train AI models, for example, is a breach of customer trust.”

“Fixed subscription models and inflexible contracts are another way to breach customer trust, making users feel trapped. When it comes to product subscriptions, businesses need to treat customers with fairness and transparency, using simple and clear language in contracts to make sure customers easily understand what they are agreeing to and offering flexibility to alter their subscription easily when needed.”

“Businesses should be prioritising long-term customer retention, and that is only possible with a foundation of trust and transparency.”

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Fabrice Beaux

Business Expert

Fabrice Beaux is CEO and Founder of InsterHyve Systems Genève-based managed IT service provider. They provide the latest and customized IT Solutions for small and medium-sized businesses.

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