Consumer Data – Internet Mayhem

Consumer Data – Internet Mayhem

By Demet Dayanch, staff writer of Seawave Media,

So, I just got sent a short video that is doing the rounds and has gone viral. It shows a Psychic who sets himself up in a tent, in a city in Europe and gets random punters to come in and he gives them a reading. The man is astonishing. Knows stuff unknowable. Bank details, amount a person spent on clothes in the past month, how many boyfriends they have, colour of their motorbike, best friend’s name etc. Right at the end it is revealed how he knows all this information/data. A screen drops down, and behind it we see four masked men at computer screens and a large screen with the punter’s data, pics etc…all from the internet. The message is: Your entire life is online and it might be used against you.

The guy was not a psychic he was being fed data from the guys behind the screen working rapidly and accessing all manner of information from online social media sites and the like.

Data – consumer data is a massive industry – has it gone too far where online consumer data is collected?

I mean all data in today’s world translates as consumer data. And why? Because we are living in a consumer world where money and goods really do make the world go round. I’d prefer for love to make the world go round, but then I am a techno hippie (Can’t technically be a hippie as I was born after that time).

What aides the collection of consumer data is a process called Data Mining. Data mining is a process where data is collected from a number of sources or from a variety of perspectives and analyzed to find relationships and correlations and patterns. Before data mining software came into play companies, especially those with a strong customer focus, like, retail, financial, marketing and communication companies, used other programmes to do this work by collecting consumer data and using the information, for particularly, point of sales records of customer purchases.

Once you have this kind of consumer data it is easy to market to the consumer other items/services that may be of interest to them? Data mining does go deeper than that, and with the extent of internet use for such a variety of purposes, a whole consumer personality can be determined through data mining.

Think about it. In the real world as opposed to the internet world (though to be honest most people spend more time in the internet world than the real world) if you know a person’s personality then you can know how to relate to them better. In a business world, you can identify their needs and mode of operatus and work in a way to get the best out of them. The same goes with data mining. It provides information/data that enables companies to target and market more directly goods and services that the consumer, through their accessed consumer data, is more likely to be interested in. This benefits companies as they are not wasting their time targeting and marketing consumers who are unlikely to use their products or services. So it could be argued that consumer data as well as benefiting companies also benefits consumers.

How does data mining benefit consumers?

If your consumer data is accessed and you are targeted and marketed a product that would interest you, then it is not really junk mail, as you are not being presented with items or services that are of no use to you. It may actually work in your favour and save you time from searching out these products and services. They literally come to you.

Is this true though? I know for sure on the internet all the pop up adverts annoy the hell out of me. So what if I researched a trip to India last week. It was for a friend, and I don’t want deals being sent to whatever other internet page I am in trying to sell me hotel deals in India. They don’t always get it right. My data cannot always be assumed to be consumer data and this is where I think there is beginning to be an overlay. For companies in the consumer industry (which is basically almost everything since even if it’s not about money it’s about energy and attention to ideas) it is no skin off their nose but a massive cut on mine.

But, then there are times that it can be useful. For example, when I’m having my 80’s music moment and doing a search on Youtube I’ll put in say (forgive me but it is a classic) Total Eclipse Of Your Heart, and sing my heart out. By the side of the clip are a number of other suggested tracks based on the choice I have already made. So I go from one song to another and another, and depending on my choice, get suggestions related to my last choice.

But you see, here I am not trying to be sold anything so that’s ok with me, it’s purely for my pleasure and benefit. There is no consumer data being stored up …or is there? You see, I have no idea if my Youtube searching activity then gets stored elsewhere. Is this music mania session going to become an avenue whereby it is converted as consumer data?

The next time I log on will I be hit with a pop up trying to sell me 80’s classic tunes? I just don’t know.

I guess what would be perfect would be to have a very clear and non hidden idea about how consumer data is collected, stored and utilised. I want to see figures. I would like to see who has this data on me. Is that too much to ask? Do I have a right to know about the sources of my own consumer data?

November 3, 2015 / Uncategorized

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Consumer Data – Internet Mayhem

In May 2018, the new GDPR regulations become enforceable for all countries operating within the European Union. The new legislation establishes stringent changes to the way companies collect and process data and even more stringent consequences for those companies that fail to make their data fully compliant. And there’s not much chance that Brexit is going to make any difference; the regulations will become firmly established into law by the time we’ve left, and show little chance of being repealed afterwards. So, if you’ve not already optimised your consumer data processing practices, it’s time to start.

Opt-in data changes under the GDPR

One of the most profound changes that the GDPR will establish is in the way that businesses collect data. Whereas before you could operate under an opt-out policy, ensuring customers had to specifically declare that they didn’t want their data processed, now the opposite is the case. An individual now must actively volunteer their data, with tick boxes being the preferred method. Here are some other details the GDPR specifies:
  • As a default, tick boxed should be un-ticked. There should be further options available that allow the user to select the type of marketing correspondence they wish to receive; email, phone or mail.
  • The data subject is permitted to opt out of data processing at any point after opting in.
  • Consenting to data collection should not be a condition of service.
  • Sending someone an email to ask them for marketing permission is not permissible.
These changes will create profound challenges for companies looking to generate leads from marketing. What’s more, there’s a maximum fine of up to 20 million Euros, or four per cent of global turnover payable for a breach of these regulations; a figure that’s easily enough to send smaller firms into administration.

How to demonstrate data compliance

If companies choose to continue processing their own data after May 2018, there are a number of policies they will have to implement in order to demonstrate their GDPR compliance: • Appoint a data protection officer if at all feasible. • Carefully record and document all data processing activities. • Implement data minimisation and ‘pseudononymisation’ guidelines that adhere to the new regulations. In short, the data protection regulations that come into force next year are a minefield. The entire document clocks up just under a hundred individual articles that need to be adhered to.

Fully compliant data experts at Seawave

The team here at Seawave Media have a professional and comprehensive knowledge of the GDPR and other data protection regulations. It’s of vital importance to us that we operate to the highest data protection standards, and provide the most optimised and highest quality data possible within these regulations. Our goal is to ensure every legal box is ticked, while still providing you with high value consumer lifestyle survey leads that deliver a great ROI.

Contact us today to find out more about how we can help optimise your lead marketing strategy, both right now and after the GDPR regulations come through in May next year.