Are we approaching a tipping point with personal data acquisition?

Gam Dias

Are we approaching a tipping point with personal data acquisition?

For any organization holding its customer’s personal data, GDPR and CCPA have upped the ante on Privacy. The big question for marketing and product leaders is ‘How can privacy be profitable?

Chasing the goal of profitability through privacy, I curated the Privacy Conference at Web Summit 2019. I attended sessions relevant to privacy seeking answers.

Google’s November announcements spotlight its long-term data acquisition strategy. Acquiring Fitbit adds the exercise data of over 30 million people. The acquisition of Ascension adds 50 million Americans’ healthcare data. With Citigroup and Stanford Credit Union, Google will offer checking accounts – is this surveillance banking? Yet simultaneously, Google is updating the Chrome browser with anti-tracking privacy tools. Today we have no oversight on data monopolies. Should Google be trusted with our data?

Google: Google at 20, digital as a force for good

Google EMEA’s Matt Brittin, answering the question, Google will become an all-seeing all-knowing global company [..] is that something that dehumanizes me?, “… everything starts from you as the user of a service. Are you secure in using that service is it protected from other people hacking into your data. Once you have security you can have control over privacy, you can decide what you can share with whom where. We’ve always had that at the heart of what we do at Google. Actually it at the heart of what GDPR is intended to do – give people control, give people transparency [..] I think society ultimately has to decide on the norms. Some of them will lead to rules as we see, some of them will lead to just socially acceptable ways of behaving, and some absolutely is about education and what we want to do is make it easy for people to inform themselves about some of these things.

Margrethe Vestager: In conversation

Margrethe Vestager, the EVP of European Commission for a Europe fit for the Digital Age offers the following caution: “One of the things I have learned, is that it is not you searching Google, it is Google searching you. If there is an imbalance between what you get and what you pay, then very often you are the product, it is you who are being searched because of all the data you leave behind [..] part of the amazing technology that they hold is the technology to notably predict what you want, but also to nudge you into making choices that you may not otherwise have made.

Personal data for an individual has personal value, yet in aggregate it can transform industries. Traditional data brokers like Experian and Acxiom have been joined by the technology giants. These data manufactories are in a personal data land-grab. Savvy consumers are waking up to the risks, yet lack the tools or controls to do anything about it.

Back to Web Summit 2019 – The Privacy Track

Next Steps For Marketers

As a marketer, your job is to create and nurture product markets. Data has been incredibly effective in enabling this, yet without regulation has created paths to exploitation and bad actors. New regulations put a throttle on current customer acquisition practices and engagement models. Yet there is an opportunity right now to turn this constraint into competitive advantage. Here are 6 steps to move to a privacy-for-profit model.

First build trust

  1. Implement Governance: establish an actual operation model for governance that goes beyond compliance.
  2. Offer Transparency: ensure that your current customers gain transparency into how their data is used and the benefit they receive.
  3. Enable Control: give them some means of control, there are many third party solutions that could be leveraged.

Then find profit

  1. Determine Value Proposition: what are new propositions that can be created out of consent. What are the data products, what is the consumer offer?
  2. Create the Value Chain: what is the data value chain required to deliver a profitable business. How do we create a data mobility infrastructure and work with partners to create new value?
  3. Make it Scale: how can the profitability grow as that proposition scales? What are the business models and data value projections that will justify investment?

3 Points Digital’s Personal Data and Privacy practice will help you find the profit model in your privacy preparations. We provide interim Chief Data Officers and frameworks for Governance, Transparency and Control.

Web Summit Videos

Google at 20, digital as a force for good, Matt Brittin, Google

In conversation with Commissioner Margrethe Vestager