Why do people put their trust in some things and not in others and more importantly, how do I earn it?
Whether I am a friend, a dad, a colleague or the leader of an organisation, the thing most dear to me is that people trust me and in turn I trust them.
Trust isn’t rational, it’s a gut feeling. It’s intuition, it’s your inner beliefs fully on display, it’s how you act, how you talk and what you say.
How do I know this? I still trust people and companies even when things go wrong and yet I don’t always trust people when things go right.
I have no idea how this works, but my belief system seems to get it right more often than not.
I’m sure people much smarter than me know why the brain triggers this but to me it is good old-fashioned instinct. Simplicity is the key.
If you do something wrong, then say so, put your hands up and apologise and ensure it doesn’t happen again. This is where I divert into the latest data scandal.
Facebook, love it or loathe it, is an integral part of millions of people’s daily lives.
I have always had an uneasy relationship with Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg’s plaything.
I’m not a great one for sharing pictures of my kids, my Sunday roast or posting open ended statements that means someone asks me if ‘I’m ok?’.
I’m old fashioned, but I do like Social Media and the ability it gives me to keep in touch with old university friends, football mates, people on the other side of the world and of course interacting with industry colleagues.
I always had reservations about what Facebook would do with too much of my info. So much so that I set my profile religion to Jedi.
If something is free there must be a catch, right?
Facebook has your data, you gave it for free and now it probably knows more about you than you know yourself.
Sprinkle a little Cambridge Analytica wizardry on top and we have a situation… well who knows where this is ending up?
Facebook sells advertising to you based upon your data profile, your likes, your tastes whether it be political or musical.
Is this harmless, innocent? Possibly, but I am alarmed by how often Zuckerberg has to apologise.
Do we trust him or Facebook or any of the big five technology giants to do the right thing? Are they ethical? Their power comes with responsibility.
A Wired magazine article reported how Zuckerberg had to apologise in 2003, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2010 and now in front of Congress explaining how 87 million people had their data harvested; millions of whom did not give permission.
They trust us
Data is gold. It is valuable to all manner of companies, including us mortgage advisers.
As mortgage advisers we collect and collate endless amounts of data so that we can obtain our clients a mortgage.
They trust us to do the right thing with it and to make informed decisions. I doubt they would let us use it for grey area purposes.
Would you target someone who contributes to the Labour party differently than you target a Conservative donor.
You would have to assume they would have very different political leanings based purely on a direct debit.
I started with ‘What is trust?’ and I hope in some small way I have explained some of the ethical challenges that data controllers have.
We have a duty of care to gain our clients’ trust and to use their data responsibly, store it safely, follow the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) rules and delete what we don’t need.