The Personalization Conundrum (Part 1): Balancing Consumer Data Use while Building Trust

The Personalization Conundrum (Part 1): Balancing Consumer Data Use while Building Trust

February 22, 2019 Off By administrator

Countless studies prove that consumers want more content tailored to their personal preferences and needs. Yet, when we share our email addresses, location, social media posts, images, speech segments, social security numbers, IP addresses, search histories and more, we’re creating a digital footprint for companies to follow and leverage.

Sometimes we’re aware of what we’re providing, but often, we’re oblivious about the amount of information that’s being collected, the ways it’s being used, and its value.“Whether data is fabricated by computers or created by real people, one of the biggest concerns will be how it is analyzed. It matters not just what information is collected but also what inferences and predictions are made based upon it.”—Wired, February 2019.

Are New Regulations Enough?

The European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation, GDPR, enforced in May 2018, regulates the processing by an individual, company or organization of personal data in the EU. Global companies and businesses that collect data from a company in the EU or are established outside the EU but provide products, services, or involve the actions of individuals in the EU must be compliant. Bottom line: Individuals have the right to know who, what, why and how their personal data in being used, and to obtain, object, restrict and delete such access.

Like their European counterparts, the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) and Vermont’s laws, in particular, go beyond breach notification and require companies to make significant changes in their data processing operations. Other states have followed suit.

Nationally, in January 2019, the U.S Government Accountability Office (GAO) provided a report, “Additional Federal Authority Could Enhance Consumer Protection and Provide Flexibility” that urges Congress to develop comprehensive legislation on Internet privacy for enhanced consumer protections and flexibility to address a rapidly evolving Internet environment.

Delivering What Customers Want Will Incentivize Data Sharing

Some say that data is a company’s most important asset. As public trust continues to decline in companies, institutions, and the government’s collection, use and monetization of personal data, however, restoring the public trust must be considered of equal importance if not greater priority. “More than 76 percent of the general population say they want CEOs to take the lead on change instead of waiting for the government to impose it,” according to Edelman’s 2019 Global Trust Barometer.

Clearly, combining data innovation with effectively protecting customer privacy and security leads to increased brand loyalty and revenue growth. To achieve this goal, companies must stop using “third-party” data which is collected by data brokers and sold to companies that require increasingly larger datasets for audience analytics and targeting. Data obtained from multiple sources is less reliable and secure, while its consent…

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