Yesterday, courtesy of ‘tailored advertising’, using my data collected on Facebook (and who knows where else) I was given the suggestion of purchasing a ‘hoodie’ with my name on it. What ever algorithm put it there got my attention and got my name right but that is where the opportunity ends. I can’t imagine what other data was used to indicate that I would like to buy a hooded jumper (sweater) in the middle of summer. I have never bought a ‘hoodie’, do not purchase pink clothes and do not take up suggested clothing apps recommended by FB.
The only thing tailored here is my name and actually I found it kind of creepy, even though this is an every day occurrence with the spam that bombards my google account and my name merged into the greeting.
I am on the side of advertising that is tailored to me, it should add value, be relevant and most importantly save me time. Unfortunately this is still clutter on my page and what I consider nuisance advertising, which is a shame as it could be a lot smarter and impress.
Have you had some good experiences? I would love to hear about them
Trust – Ultimately it comes down to trust. How do we trust these organisations when we don’t read the terms and conditions, don’t have the education to make good decisions or receive true value from the sharing of our data?
Then there is the black market for personal information. AT&T have just confirmed a data breach of its mobile phone users (the guilty parties being employees) and earlier this year eBay saw a data breach effecting 100 million customers. Almost every day there are examples that are news worthy and demonstrate the lack of security. There are also mistakes or negligence, a woman in Florida found out that her lawyers had tossed her files into a dumpster, un-shredded. These files included medical notes, bank accounts and pay stubs.
I am a pragmatist and accept sharing some of my information in exchange for convenient shopping online, using social networks etc . But I also own my data and feel the equilibrium is restored if I work with an agency who can help me manage it. To quote someone who commented on this blog I want to be ‘passive interested’ not ‘passive stupid
A recent article in Research Live highlighted some interesting statistics through a study conducted by Coleman Parkes (on behalf of Accenture). The research was carried out across the US and UK and 2000 people were interviewed. The research showed that
- 80% of consumers believe that data privacy no longer exists
- 87% believe that adequate safeguards are not in place
- 64% are concerned with their buying behaviour being tracked
Interestingly 49% would not object to having their behaviour tracked if it would result in relevant offers and 64% welcomed in store targeted texting (this brings up IBeacon which will be discussed in future posts)
For me this tells us that we are deeply concerned and do not believe our information is being protected adequately. While we are open to sharing information if it results in better offers and services. Lastly, it implies that we are not currently feeling much value from sharing (willingly or not) our information.
By taking and managing our own data there is level playing field and information flows act much more in a loop rather than top down. So lets understand what our rights are to our own information. For this post I have focused specifically on North America and Europe
Europe – Under EU Data Protection Regulation any European citizen can request access to any document held by an EU institution including personal information. There is no limit on the number of requests the subject makes unless they are identical requests and therefor a reasonable interval of time must have elapsed. There are limits to the cost that can be charged to the consumer
US – Under the FTD Fair Information Principles consumers are allowed access and participation to their information. Access as defined in the information principles includes not only a consumers ability to view the data collected but also to verify and contest its accuracy. This access must be inexpensive and timeline in order to be useful to the consumer.
Canada – Under PIPEDA (The Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act), The law gives the individual the right to access and request correction of the personal information an organisation has collected about them.
Our rights to our data provides a fantastic opportunity between the customer/organisation relationship!
Maybe it is a throwback to my university days where I studied sociology and had an idealistic leaning towards the Frankfurt School of Thought, but recently the debate over consumer control has been piquing my interest. To be more specific, consumer control over their personal information or any other data that might be out there in the digital world.
I have been working in the Market Research Industry for 15 years mainly in data collection and more recently passive data collection. Passive data collection is a wonderful development for organisations, not only can they measure what people say but now they can see where people go, what they browse, what they do within apps and what advertisements they have been exposed to as well as their purchase data. This information gives organisations huge insight into not only segmented consumer behaviour but now they have a windo into our individual behavior, needs, desires, interests and intentions.
The Frankfurt School and passive data collection may not seem to be natural bedfellows for discussion but there is something that connects them, and he is Edward Bernays. I have long been fascinated by Edward Bernays who was a pioneer in the world of public relations using theories on crowd persuasion as well as psychoanalysis by his uncle Sigmund Freud. The most famous example being his campaign for “torches of freedom”. From Bernays came affective mass persuasion and the birth of the consumer culture. Consumer culture was persuading ‘us’ the consumer to desire stuff! The more stuff we desire the more stuff we purchase, driving growth and a stronger economy resulting in political stability. The Frankfurt School argues that we the mass population are deluded about our objective interests because of distortions in communication or advertising.
I am a long way from my University days and enjoy my career within the Market Research World, organisations use data to gain insight, target customers and stay competitive. It isn’t all about advertising, awareness and desire but also about product testing, satisfaction, loyalty… all these things can truly make a customer experience all the more positive and valuable.
What I find interesting now is the likelihood of the consumer regaining control over their data and using it to continue to get more benefits as a customer. As a customer I want to become more active in what happens to my information and ensure that I am getting more benefits.
Ctrl-shift (cntrl-shift.co.uk) has been doing a lot of research into the Personal Data Economy and the impact that Personal Information Services (PIMS) may have; particularly in my industry. A service where your personal data is managed for you to help you make better decisions or manage tasks; or taking it a step further act as a broker for your Personal Information, this we know has value!
In this blog I will be exploring developments and innovation around our digital footprints and how this actually can empower us ‘the customer’ (or not).
What do you think?