Personal data and privacy are increasingly emotive subjects when on the one hand firms are able to understand individual customers’ intimate, detailed and real-time interests and on the other hand more and more firms are suffering data breaches. Customers increasingly refuse to give their data away for free because they know it is worth something. But it is certainly possible to share and maximise the value that data can create at the same time as controlling and reducing the consequences of its loss.
The personal data paradox
Big Data is like the minute-to-minute personal diary of everyone and everything
This whole web site is about how to minutely understand what customers and staff members are really interested in and what they really need as they go through their lives. So its about the most private and personal of subjects. Its also about people’s values so its about very sensitive and emotive issues.
Firms and governments are getting better and better at collecting personal data and understanding what this data signifies about individuals, their lives and their loved ones. But the people who generate this data, the individuals that this data is used to target with suggestions and advice are becoming more and more uneasy about giving such power to firms that they have no control over themselves. People are worried that firms will not keep the data safe or that they will use in ways that are not in the best interests of the people themselves.
But there is a paradox. Customers are also coming to expect the levels of service, customisation and personalisation that only can be generated by have an intimate understanding of what each individual customer wants and needs. Also, modern products and services are usually produced by supply chains and business ecosystems rather than individual firms.
The personal data resolution
The solution to how to resolve this paradox is to increase rather than decrease the amount and detail of personal data that we give out. But to give it to a mediation service that we control. Personal control fits with all the other personalisation aspects of the personal data paradox. It also means that the private individual – the customer – can charge others for using the data. Or at least get a larger share of any value that is generated from it.