Comment: Berners Lee’s proposal for an internet “Magna Carta”

By John Elkaim

Speaking on the 25th birthday of the World Wide Web, Tim Berners Lee said that he believes the internet’s independence must be protected and enshrined, along with the rights of everyone who uses it.

It’s the right approach, and people’s rights and personal data must be protected, butmarketers must remember that, while consumers are willing to share their information, they demand transparency and value in exchange for doing so.

Consumers increasingly use their social media profiles to log in to their favourite web properties, including ecommerce, travel, media and education sites, and new statistics from Gigya show that people do so with a variety of online personas, though Facebook still leads the pack.

76 per cent of users log in to ecommerce sites with Facebook, while 59 per cent use it to log in to travel and hospitality sites. Facebook is also still the king of mobile social login, as 63 per cent of people use their mobile phones to log in to their favourite sites.

Consumers and brands essentially need to have a “virtual handshake” in which consumers give the brand permission to use certain parts of their data in exchange for the value provided by more relevant marketing, personalised site experiences and access to certain gated content.

They’re happy to share their information, but they want to do so on their own terms. The main objective for responsible companies is to now provide consumers with an ‘opt-in’ to sharing their data via a social media login, rather than assuming they are happy to do so. In other words, they need to stick out their hands before they can expect people to shake them.

About the author

John Elkaim is VP of marketing at Gigya.

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