Friday, April 19, 2013

Facebook Datalogix Deal- How does it impact you?

As companies look for more return from their big data (or data warehouses), they feel the need to work with other businesses to create even a larger set of data by pooling their data resources/assets. A good recent example of this change is the deal between Facebook and Datalogix:

Facebook can, in a privacy-sensitive way, tell who purchased about 50% of all consumer-packaged goods sold in the US.
Datalogix can also track people who have given over identifying information to merchants, asking for more information about their products.
So, for example, Facebook knows which of its users have asked Chevy for brochures on its new Camaro.
The implications of this capability are obviously huge. (Source:  http://www.businessinsider.com/facebook-takes-a-massive-step-it-can-now-show-you-ads-based-your-offline-life-2013-4)

It is easy to see the inherent conflict between the goal of maintaining privacy and personalization of corporate communication to the users. But as businesses look to drive more profits from their data resources this battle comes to a head as seen by the recent post:

The value proposition of data privacy. Privacy concerns made a few prominent appearances. Michael Palmer, head of innovation at Aetna, said that “privacy concerns are at the top of the list” for the insurance giant, which must de-identify all data before analyzing it and adhere to HIPAA rules on privacy.
But participants on a panel called “Addressing the Tension Between Personalization and Privacy” were all confident that concerns over personal security would subside as the value proposition for releasing individual data improved. “People will see the benefits of sharing data,” said David Shim, founder and CEO of Placed, a location analytics firm. Ken Chahine, a senior vice president at Ancestry.com, agreed, highlighting the benefits the online genealogy firm’s customers receive in return for submitting their DNA and other personal information. (Source: http://data-informed.com/at-big-data-event-speakers-assert-analytics-data-science-still-in-early-stages)

It is possible that at some point legislation around sharing of data resources might come about or not but till then the end-user would witness new and innovative ways to combine data to better segment and personalize communications targeted at them. Some might see this as a positive and others as an invasion of privacy.