“In digital era, privacy must be a priority. Is it just me, or is secret blanket surveillance obscenely outrageous?” Al Gore
I read an interesting article on research-live today about a YouGov study that indicates that over 30% of people in the UK have deleted apps on their phone due to worries that their information is being sold or over-used.
It makes me ask myself if Europe is ahead of the curve not only in individuals concerns over privacy but more importantly the movement to get consumers to take control of their data. When researching online I find much more information coming from organisations like Mydex or Ctrl-Shift who are based in the UK; not to mention European data protection laws being the most stringent in the world.
I was at an entrepreneur event in North Carolina last week and was speaking to company who had developed a PIMS app (personal information management services). This app acts like a broker for individuals who wish to sell their own personal information which is collected passively on their phone. It also gives the individual the ability to decide what information can and cannot be sold which would automatically adjust the overall value. A very smart tool that gives the individual complete transparency, control and reward. The problem is the chicken and the egg; do you build a crowd of people before you have clients to sell the data to, only to risk losing them because there is no one bidding for their data? Or do you need the client investment first which is hard considering you don’t have anything to sell yet?
There needs to be more gusto from the consumer in order for this to be solved, and this requires education about our privacy and what is currently happening with our data. With this knowledge will come the customer desire for change, as the customer changes so too does the industry.
This is where I see the UK, quite frankly, kicking some butt in terms of education and forward thinking. If I am wrong and you are aware of more high profile agencies in the Americas I would love to hear about them.