Companies champion consumer privacy in the wake of data concerns

While most consumers are comfortable sharing basic personal info with brands in exchange for perks, the extent of that info is being called into question amid recent data debates. When we asked young people their thoughts on the topic for our Self Made report, 59% were willing to pay for products and services that help them protect their digital privacy, a number that could grow as more become protective of their information. These companies are prioritizing consumer privacy and setting the example for others in the space.


Consumer privacy is central to the ethos of Snips, an AI company we covered in December that lets people create custom voice assistants that don’t put their data at risk. This summer, the team is showcasing the power of its technology with a cross-country tour inside a completely voice-controlled Airstream. Called Voices of Privacy, the interactive tour will explore the future of voice AI and data privacy, popping up from coast to coast at conferences and festivals. Snips is partnering with Headspace to bring voice-activated meditations to the Airstream, as well as with Intelligentsia for voice-controlled espresso brewing. Sweetgreen and Matchabar will also be on hand to keep the privacy tour fueled along the way.


Following the Cambridge Analytica controversy, Sonos practiced activism as brand strategy by pulling advertising from four major social platforms for a week and donating an undisclosed amount of money to RightsCon, a Toronto-based digital rights summit. However, Sonos does not plan to permanently abandon the platforms because it fundamentally believes in them, writing in a blog post, “We have found Facebook, Instagram, and other online platforms to be incredibly effective ways to reach our customers and to share our mission as a company—not to mention stay in touch with friends and family in our personal lives.” 


After MoviePass CEO Mitch Lowe publicly claimed the theater subscription service tracked its users’ locations, the company swiftly responded by pulling the feature and releasing a new version of the app, saying in a statement, “Our members will always have the option to choose the location-based services that are right for them today and in the future.” Erring on the caution when it comes to privacy could better position brands for loyalty in the long run. Mattel took a similar approach last year when it pulled Aristotle over concerns the connected device could put children’s privacy at risk.