Personal data: digital gold to be put into the hands of a trusted third party

18 December 2017


Personal data: digital gold to be put into the hands of a trusted third party

Are the General Data Protection Regulations an obstacle to using personal data? They may, on the contrary, boost it if companies see in these new European regulations, which come into force on 25 May 2018, the possibility of creating value from the “digital gold” which is personal data. Finally, it is an opportunity for companies who know how to prevail in this market.

Who can currently say where their personal data can be found? Who is using it? And for what purposes? Who is not constantly getting unwanted sales pitches in their inbox, when these are not fraudulent? Faced with the growing amount of data, it is crucial for companies to review their internal data processing and procedures, as is required by the new European General Data Protection Regulation which, from 25 May 2018, will strengthen the individual rights of Europeans and companies’ obligations in this regard.

Behaviours and life moments which are monetised

Source: Big Data Business infographic

Until now, intermediaries (data brokers) resell personal digital information to large group platforms. This is manna, as even as early as 2014 the value of the digital life of the European was estimated to be 600 euros per year (according to an infographic on Business Big Data which appeared in L’Usine Nouvelle (French weekly business and technology magazine)).

The most valued information is not the names and addresses but the behaviours and life moments obtained through connected objects and other digital fingerprints (connected watches, activity trackers, cafeteria cards, playlists and navigation cookies on the Internet, etc.). This is what gives relevance in push marketing and increases the conversion rate in advertising targeting, and through that even their monetary value.

This more volatile information means being able to have an offering that is consistent with a given moment in the life of an individual. Data which can be monetised more because the conversion rate is higher.

A new personal data economy is at stake

Source: EMC’s Digital Universe barometer

In order to recover this “digital gold”, the approach is based on instigating a chain of trust which brings together employees, subcontractors, service providers and partners, but also, and above all, individuals. In order to win the trust of the latter, they have to be given the means to control their data, and in particular to be able to withdraw their consent whenever they wish and to benefit from the completely transparent portability of their data.

In order to do this, users need to be reassured that the storage of their data cannot be tampered with, particularly thanks to a safe with a level of protection that is much greater than the current offering (Drive, Dropbox, etc.). The individual must be certain that the company is using his or her information for the sole purpose to which s/he has agreed.

This new trust between company and customer will transform the current economy around data brokers. A new business model around personal data is at stake. Nothing can be done behind the back of the persons concerned any more – it must be done under their control. It is up to them to choose their trusted third party. It is up to the company to position itself rapidly as an agent for change.

Push offers around data portability

With the new rights to the portability of data which will apply with the GDPR will be able to transfer their data from one business to another.

The widespread implementation of this right may revolutionise digital value chains, given that the individuals themselves decide what they do with their data. On the basis that this right is easy to exercise, who knows whether we will see new offerings and new services flourish around data portability?

Get established quickly in this niche market

Source: Mediapost with Limelight Consulting

In the medium term, an individual can manage his or her data profile just like a share portfolio using a new generation of cockpit-type tools or a checkpoint. As s/he would do for a virtual currency, s/he will give and withdraw access and use of his/her data according to his/her benefits (financial, usage, etc.). Around this portfolio, one possibility could be a dashboard provided with personalised advice, a data safe. And all this in the hands of a trusted third party.

Customers will turn to the company that has the resources to provide them with proof of compliance and transparency. Therefore, it is urgent to gain a position on this market so as not to miss the opportunity to attract new prospects and establish customer loyalty with GDPR-compliant products and services.

GDPR compliance can certainly appear to be yet one more regulatory requirement. However, it can also make the difference for companies who are able to seize the opportunity that it represents: by strengthening the closeness to and trust of their customers, while supporting the marketing of new attractive services around personal data, or even by building a new business model.

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