Who Owns Your Customers’ Data?

By Bijan Shahrokhi in Security

When going mobile, merchants should be cautious about how customer data ownership is handled by the service provider. Imagine how devastating it would be if your service provider decided to sell your customers’ data to your competitors!

Tech companies have a long history of attempting to sell customer data to third party companies. Take, for example, Instagram’s recent attempt to modify its privacy policy. Luckily, public pressure forced Instagram to revert back to its original terms and stopped the change, but it’s likely that Instagram will come back with another privacy modification to make money from this lucrative business.


The same risks apply to the payments industry. Almost all mobile loyalty solution providers require the end user to directly sign-up or log-in to the solution provider’s platform before the user pays the store with his/ her smartphone. As a result, the provider owns the customer, giving them the right to sell the data generated in the future

We at Virtual Next have mitigated this risk for our merchants by building our solution in a way that requires the user to sign-up with the merchant, not us, to assure the merchant that it is impossible for us to sell their data in the future. We believe that you can’t put a price on a merchant’s private customer data and it should never be sold or shared with others. Our product design reflects this philosophy.


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