More on cashback and privacy

With the revelations made by Snowden, privacy has become a real buzzword. Popular websites like Facebook and Google were forced into having to explain themselves due to the concern that they passed on data to the NSA. This appeared to be a valid concern and people became more aware of what happens underneath the shiny interfaces of their favourite applications and software. Personal details are being sold to interested third parties and this is what most companies demand in return for the ‘free’ services they offer.

This also holds true for most cashback deals. This explains why most cashback have the requirement that you fill in certain personal details before you can make use of the cashback deal. So it’s good to make a habit out of reading the tiny letters to see whether your data is indeed being sold to third parties or whether it’s only used by the company itself. That is, if you care about it at all.

Research namely shows that people are usually very willing to give their personal details in exchange for a good deal. It found that close to three quarters (74%) of Indian respondents are open to providing the details, compared to a third of the more skeptical Germans. The research also indicated that trust plays a very important role in the willingness to provide details. Companies with great customer care and a lot of openness are better trusted than ‘closed’ companies. However, too much openness can also quickly turn into ‘creepiness’. Most people don’t mind if companies use their first name to address them, but it turns creepy when companies provide a detailed character analysis based on the data they have.

Next time when you make use of a cashback deal, ask yourself the question whether you want that company to have specific details for you. If you’re not entirely sure about what data they use or sell, feel free to contact them.