Over the years, data has become more valuable, specifically your data. When we watch the news, we often hear horror stories regarding personal data being stolen, disseminated, and compromised.
Have you ever wondered why certain ads show up on your social media? There’s no doubt that some of the people in your inner circle have said something along the lines of “I feel like my phone is listening to me.” We hear about data-driven tech giants like Facebook, Google, and Amazon which frequently create ads that are targeted to our specific interests.
There are several different companies that use our online behaviors to their advantage, showing us targeted ads. The sale of our information to third parties is something we hear about often. It’s terrifying to think that all our personal information can easily fall into the hands of a stranger.
Over the past 20 years, data has proven to be a gold mine. Especially now, since it’s being considered a TRILLION dollar industry. At the end of the day, all these big companies are a business, and they have to make their money somehow. There needs to be a line drawn, especially if consumers or businesses are left in the dark about how their information is being used.
The concept of data within the restoration industry is a significant topic of discussion. It’s valuable, and many restorers don’t know where their information is going. Without naming specific companies, certain ones offer their services in exchange for personal data. The company uses that information in one of its other revenue streams. This process isn’t 100% a bad thing as long as the restorer is aware of three things.
You hold the key to some compelling and valuable information as a restorer. When you give your job management system, a cloud-based platform, access to your information, you give more than just your name. The information can include profitability metrics of your projects, customers, or average loss size.
It’s all information you need easy access to to help run your business. Let’s say you decide to leave your job management system. Ideally, you would want to have that information returned to you, and the information completely wiped from that platform.
We’ve heard horror stories about when restorers try switching from one company to another. Some companies stall and even keep restorers’ data, with some companies saying it’s impossible to have the information returned to you. That’s why we stress the importance of reading the fine print. You’ll have no idea what you agree to if you don’t read the terms and conditions entirely.
So try it out for yourself; take a look at all your subscriptions, whether it’s Matterport, Dash, PSA, Restoration Manager, Company Cam, etc. Take a look at those terms and conditions; if you have questions, call your account managers to review data privacy policies and terms and conditions. Ask questions about what they do with your data. Ask for the information in writing.
There should be no reason why companies should use your data against you. There’s no reason you should pay to get YOUR information returned to you. Be proactive in taking care of the valuable information you hold!
Michele Rave is a Content Manager at Albiware. Although she’s completely new to the restoration industry, she’s eager to learn and most importantly create fun and interesting content to help restoration contractors. Michele spent the last five years working in the news industry. She started off working as Assistant Producer for WBBM Radio in Chicago. She eventually became a television news reporter for the ABC/Fox affiliate in Rockford, IL, leading her to report in Spanish for Univision, Dallas. If you would like to share your ideas to Michele, you can email her at email@example.com