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ThinkstockPhotos-500842830Consumer trust in mobile is fundamental to growing a sustainable ecosystem.  MEF’s recent Consumer Trust Summit highlighted the main issues with much of the discussion given over to developing best practice that fosters transparency in what companies do with user data. 

But more than this, the media is awash with reports on how consumers are reluctant to use new services like mobile money or give up their location to an app – trust is a consistent theme.

Below we asked members of the MEF Working Group on Consumer Trust for their thoughts on how consumer trust will shape up in 2016.  

Grahma ThomasGraham Thomas

Board Director

Deutsche Telekom

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Graham Thomas, Board Director, Marketing, Deutsche Telekom UK

Protecting personal data is becoming an increasing concern of consumers and enterprises. This need for greater control and transparency supported by tighter new EU regulation will see the need to educate the industry and highlight the benefit to consumers.

I expect to see in 2016, exciting new innovations around privacy and security to meet these ongoing needs, which will help the consumer, create new potentially disruptive business models and bring together likeminded companies focused on building trust with their customers.

Screen Shot 2015-12-21 at 16.07.45David Emm

Principal Security Researcher

Kaspersky Lab

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David Emm, Principal Security Researcher, Kaspersky Lab

A string of high profile security breaches involving consumer data in 2015 have highlighted the importance of trust, a fundamental part of making online payment transactions possible, and therefore key to business success.

The theft of personal data when an online provider’s system is breached (such as that of Carphone Warehouse or TalkTalk) is a key problem, as it threatens to undermine that trust. Recent research we conducted shows two-thirds of Internet users are worried about online financial fraud, yet 11 per cent of consumers use no security solution at all to protect themselves.

While there’s no way to guarantee that systems can’t be breached, any organisation that holds personal data has a duty of care to secure it effectively. It’s essential organisations hash and salt passwords and encrypt other personal data.  It’s also vital that, when a breach occurs, they are transparent and offer their customers clear information about the scale of the breach and its impact.

Jon CarterJon Carter

UK Head of Business Development

Deutsche Telekom

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Jon Carter, UK Head of Business Development – Connected Home, Deutsche Telekom AG

The connected home will be an attractive target for hackers, so security is of critical importance.  To overcome these concerns and comply with European data protection regulations, Deutsche Telekom believes that building trust with consumers will be fundamental.

To achieve this, companies will need to be transparent about the types and proposed use of data they collect.   We are working with businesses to promote the provision of clear and easy to understand terms and conditions that lay out exactly what data is collected, what is kept, how it will be used and why.

Partnering with trusted telcos may also help address concerns. While ensuring absolute security is always going to be difficult against advanced hacking techniques, following protocols that keep retained data to a minimum and/or completely anonymous may help to mitigate risk.  For robust end-to-end security, Deutsche Telekom’s Connected Home platform uses TPM chip integration and secure SSL encryption.

Simon Bates photoSimon Bates

Senior Advisor


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Simon Bates, Senior Advisor, Policy and Initiatives, MEF

2016 will see consumer trust become a red letter issue around the boardroom table. Tough new rules around data privacy and security were agreed by the European Commission in December and companies will need to consider how best to comply. Apple’s decision to allow ad-blocking on its mobile devices means publishers will need to rethink their monetisation strategies.

Equally important, consumer behaviours are changing. They are increasingly sensitive about what is done with their personal information. Mobile users want more control over their data and they are likely to favour those apps and services that give it to them and respect their privacy.

Nowhere is trust more important than in new markets like Mobile Money, the Internet of Things, Wearables and mHealth. Any business looking to make its mark here must pay heed to privacy and security concerns and reassure the public about their credentials in this critical area

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