Privacy and Personalization. Can people have it all?
If you are like most Android and iOS users, you’re likely never too far from your smartphone. Wherever you go, your phone goes, which means your movements can be tracked even when you least expect it.
Each time you download a new app to your smartphone, you’re given the opportunity to read through terms & conditions and enable location services, however, 91% of users consent to one or the other without fully knowing what it entails.
Personalization comes at a cost: In a piece written for TechTalks titled, Re-examining user experience: Can personalization and privacy coexist? NTENT CTO, Dr. Ricardo Baeza-Yates, explained how the power of privacy resides at the device and provider levels, dependent upon the settings configured by the user. For example, the most secure privacy settings yield a generic experience with less relevant results or ad placement. In this case, privacy is set at the provider level meaning the provider has chosen not to track or share your data. This works best for someone who uses their smartphone to access the Internet at a very basic level for searches like news or weather forecasts.
The least amount of privacy protection occurs at the device level when a user grants full tracking permissions to a service provider through any trackable means such as cookies or location services and remains logged in to the app. It results in a highly personalized experience with search results and notifications finely tuned to meet your needs, but the reward of personalization comes at a much higher risk to your privacy.