Bargaining Goods for Personal Data

Data privacy isn’t a topic that has strayed far from the news agenda. With  6.5 million LinkedIn passwords exposed and the European Commission calling for new laws to strength the right to access, change or delete personal data, you’d think the general population would be guarding their data even more firmly – especially as only 35 per cent of UK adults trust businesses to use their personal data as directed by them. Yet, research we released last month revealed a step change in consumer attitudes, with the emergence of a younger, more data-savvy, generation, who are intrigued by what their personal data can do for them.

35% of 18- to 34-year olds in the UK revealed that they are comfortable providing personal information to organisations to help them tailor future offers and communication.  Further to that, almost one in ten (9%) of the younger generation (those aged 18 to 34) felt that the more personal information they provide a business with, the better the service they receive as a result. The fact is – big data can provide organisations with an unprecedented opportunity to improve customer experience through highly personalised and targeted communications.  Amazon is a good example of this, doing the exact thing, using its big data to get customer love.

Here are a few pointers to help organisations make the most of big data so that is becomes its greatest asset, rather than its gravest liability?

  • Obtain user consent to collect and use their data in order to build trust.
  • Mask sensitive data so that identifiers such as birth dates are shielded, reducing the risk of data breaches.
  • Use a single identifier for each individual that does not change over time and can be used in all instances, ensuring that their interaction with the company can be recorded and their personalised profile updated.
  • Ensure that the reams of data held in different parts of the business are integrated to enable a single, trusted view of the business.
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