The Personal Data storm makes me wonder: What is the future of User Profiling in Commerce?
GDPR and Facebook rebuke will change the way online players treat Personal Data
Online players have already started to overhaul their Personal Data participatory systems and partnerships. Seeking to drastically reduce Personal Data usage beyond their strict needs as they try to appease Europeans and even Worldwide consumers while also re-establishing trust.
New steps will follow driven by the increased and abrupt market awareness as more Personal Data breaches amplify this need, such as the now notorious case of Cambridge Analytica and consequent Facebook rebuke.
Personal Data has become a potential liability and a subject matter of interest to CEOs and their boardroom.
Personal Data flows by default outside of Data Controllers to complex chains of “Trusted Partners” — who often operate internationally — and who are now suspiciously seen. (see below John Lewis personal data flow published in FT)
Online players have already taken measures to clamp down on these deferred Personal Data flows while working to re-build trust through efforts that aim at bringing transparency and fairness back to the equation.
Here are some of the initiatives that exemplify this shift:
- Amazon’s GDPR Center and Store’s Manage Browse History (where the user controls if Data is used or not to personalise).
- Zalando’s GDPR alliance in pursue of a single Personal Data point of access.
- Google’s Cloud & GDPR as well as initiatives like Google My Activity that set a trend of Personal Data inter-operability.
We will inevitably see many more actions and investments heading in this direction, both as part of compliance and as opportunity seizing. Further actions will inevitably follow, particularly as we see what Facebook is now going through.
Many companies such as online stores, software vendors, advertisers and big data analytics will have to change their business models if they are to meet the new perceptions of a market that continues to grow criticism of the Personal Data abuse which has become common practice.
Many of these companies have essentially been built on personal data trading, companies that might prefer to liquidate themselves or merge. There is definitely a storm of change coming which will lead for some interesting weeks ahead.