Tightened data privacy rules mandated by Europe’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) are here, and the impact will be felt not just in Europe but around the world. Many businesses are re-examining their data collection and use policies, trying to find the balance between knowing your customers and your customers feeling you know too much. The backlash from customers for offending businesses promises to be loud, public and painful.
Everyone wanted to be like Amazon. Massive personalization through huge collection of personal data and mega-investment in the analytics and data manipulation both on the backend and in the hands (literally) of the consumer. But, reality sets in. Very few companies can either gather that kind of data (Amazon, Google, Facebook…) or support the continual development to manage all that data and turn it into something personally targeted and appropriate.
Now, after Facebook’s implication in user data sale or breach during the last US election, multiple and consistent hacks of massive customer data around the world, and the warnings of many – including Elon Musk for example – that we must protect ourselves from the potential abuse of AI BEFORE we allow implementation of the technology, the pendulum is swinging on consumer attitudes about their personal data. GDPR in Europe and approaching 70% of the US population that feels that these companies know too much about them is creating a strong push toward privacy and the judicious and limited use of personal data.