<p>If the past week has taught us anything, it’s that privacy isn’t dead, despite all the naysayers who have been predicting it would be obsolete. From the ruling on collecting call records to the landmark meeting of tech giants and&nbsp;President Obama, there has been no shortage of news this week that demonstrates how very alive and critically important the topic of privacy is, writes Forrester Senior&nbsp;Analyst Fatemeh Khatibloo in a <a href=”http://blogs.forrester.com/fatemeh_khatibloo/13-12-19-rumors_of_privacys_death_have_been_greatly_exaggerated”>new blog post</a> and in <a href=”http://www.forrester.com/The+New+Privacy+Its+All+About+Context/-/E-RES108161?docid=108161&amp;intcmp=blog:forrlink”>new research</a> published today that draws a line in the sand regarding customer data and how organizations should use it.</p>
<p>In the age of smartphones and sensors, social media, and always-on connectivity, privacy is not only possible, it&rsquo;s essential for building customer trust and can ultimately serve as a business differentiator. If not addressed, it can pose tremendous risk to a business, concludes Khatibloo in her seminal report, which forecasts how privacy will evolve and transform business practices over the next five years.</p>
<p>Twenty-five percent of US online adults are already using ad blocking tools, and an additional 19% have turned on the “do not track” setting in their browsers, according to new Forrester data based on a survey of 5,000 respondents. But the good news is most consumers say that they are willing to share their personal data if they know, and agree with, how the data will be used, writes Khatibloo in the new research. Companies must embrace what Forrester calls contextual privacy, where the collection and use of consumers&rsquo; personal data is consensual, within a mutually agreed upon context, for a mutually agreed upon purpose.</p>
<p>Contextual privacy is simple: 1) Consumers must get proportional value in exchange for their data, and 2) businesses can recognize new business opportunities when they put contextual privacy to work. According to Khatibloo, for firms that don&rsquo;t believe they can or should differentiate on the basis of privacy, the risks loom as the consequences of the “privacy wars” will not only affect a brand’s trustworthiness and its risk for data breaches, but will have much broader macroeconomic costs, too.</p>
<p>To learn more about this research, visit the <a href=”http://blogs.forrester.com/fatemeh_khatibloo/13-12-19-rumors_of_privacys_death_have_been_greatly_exaggerated”>Customer Insights blog</a>.</p>