I = INTERVIEWER, JR = JONATHAN REYNOLDS
I: How much data should companies have about their customers, and should we be concerned about privacy?
JR: There's a lot of discussion about privacy and its relevance to customers, given that more and more data is being collected by all sorts of organisations. Certainly, the e-mails I got coming through every day from everyone from airlines through to banks to grocers and booksellers, advertising things and knowing something about my buying behaviour, can be quite concerning. Indeed, it's been suggested that we're all 'glass consumers', that you know, companies can see through us and know exactly how we behave and how we think. On the one hand, that's concerning. On the other hand, in a sense, perhaps that helps companies to serve us better. One of the ways we can think about this is that there are three attitudes to privacy: there are the 'privacy fundamentalists' who are desperately concerned about the amount and quality of information that is held about them by companies, and really don't want that to, to continue, and want that to be legislated against. We then see the 'privacy pragmatists' who actually recognise, well, the reality is companies collect data about us, that's fine, we can live with that. It may even help us in terms of getting better offers in the long term. And then finally there are the 'privacy indifferents' who actually, you know, couldn't care less about what information is collected about them, and really often are very unaware of what is collected.