At a time when 75% of consumers say they are worried about how companies use their data, according to a recent global consumer survey by Adobe, the Ethical Commerce Alliance (ECA) has launched in the UK to provide retailers a forum for debate and education around privacy and data protection.
The ECA launched on July 4, 2022 and will operate across the European Union, offering retailers guidance on how to provide top-tier customer experiences without compromising customers’ data privacy.
“The time is now for the retail and ecommerce sector to put their best foot forward and make significant strides in creating digital practices that respect consumers’ private data,” said Nina Müller, Director of the Ethical Commerce Alliance in a statement. “It’s vital that this is not viewed solely as a policy issue and the industry acknowledges it has a responsibility to enact practices that go beyond what is currently asked for from GDPR. By coming together as an industry to learn and share best practices, we will be able to overcome the challenges we face and create a human-centric, privacy focused digital world built on trust and transparency.”
The independent organization aims to be an open space for knowledge-sharing, bringing together industry experts from brands and retailers, academia and policy makers. The ultimate goal is rebuilding consumers’ trust in online shopping through the adoption of privacy-first measures and transparent business practices. While no retail participants have yet been announced, nonprofit thinktank DataEthics.eu, zero-party data activation platform Privacy Cloud and Konsolidate, an organization working to “re-decentralize” the web, have joined parent company Empathy.co as the first partners of the Alliance.
“The Ethical Commerce Alliance is finally bringing to life a well-needed alignment between the expectations of consumers and the incentives of retailers when it comes to privacy, individual agency and ethical guidelines in a more general sense,” said Sergio Maldonado, CEO of PrivacyCloud in a statement.
To open up industry debate and discussion around privacy, the ECA will host a series of talks, meetups and panel discussions as part of an ongoing Ethical Commerce Series that will take place across Europe. The first event in the series — The Perils of Prediction: Powerful Conversion or Deceptive Analytics? — took place on July 5 at Empathy.co’s headquarters in Gijón, Spain and featured the ECA’s Müller alongside Carissa Véliz, Associate Professor for Philosophy at the University of Oxford; Rafael Jimenez, founder of the privacy-first analytics company SealMetrics; and CEO and Founder of Empathy.co Ángel Maldonado. The event will be made available on YouTube soon.