Retailers purchasing magazine subscriber lists is a tried, true, and generally accepted method of targeting new customers. But now, the granularity of the personal information available for businesses to purchase, sell, or derive from computer interferences is much finer, and consequently raises ethical questions about its exchange.

No doubt, data sharing improves insights that drive business growth. It helps businesses build better products, better pin-point interested consumers, redesign operational processes, and it can potentially benefit consumers.

Medicare, for example, is employing data sharing in order to track patients’ progress, and to monitor outcomes. This information will help optimize the Medicare program, increasing value for future participants.

At the same time, data sharing has a dark side. The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), recently found that 33 out of 36 smoking cessation apps shared data with third parties, and failed to disclose the full extent of their transmission policies. Data shared about smoking may not matter much, but data shared about diabetes or dementia can have damaging consequences. Will consumers begin to avoid and distrust companies that collect and share data?

Brands can work around potential information sharing pitfalls. The trick is to promote practices that both boost business and promote consumer trust. Consumer privacy policies that take less than 27 minutes to read may actually give your brand an edge over the competition. With transparency, trust and loyalty are likely to follow.

For a deeper dive, visit The Wall Street Journal.