We live in a time where global cooperation’s has built their products upon the stacks of data provided by the users they service, with or without their knowledge. Over time they have gotten to know us better than we know ourselves. In return they make our life simpler, better or more connected.
But now another crisis hits Facebook, 50 million users personal information has been exposed. To whom nobody knows. Facebook has become the digital glue that makes it easy to login to apps and sites, and at the same time has huge amounts of personal information, personal messages and very exact digital behavior for all of their users. With all of these assets the effect of a security flaw becomes so much greater. And the impact on the users too. This is a huge challenge for Facebook.
At the same time it is data and information that drives the Internet and creates great experiences Online, where content can be served when you want it and need it, adapted for you and your wishes. Users Online today are picky, in a hurry and want content served that is relevant to them, engages them, adapted for them. Preferably without logging in or sharing personal information. This is the challenge for all Internet players.
Google is another company that has made the Internet more accessible through its search and other products. But this is also powered by huge amounts of data. And when you as a global enterprise also have access to personal information from billions of users the power of the assets is equal or greater than those of Facebook. The main difference is that Google has not been exposed in the same way as Facebook. And with great powers comes great responsibilities.
I believe that with this power comes also great challenges and maybe sooner than we/they think. I don’t think that the users will not accept this, especially with the awareness that the GDPR has created. Facebook has in recent years watered down the trust of its members and if/when an exposure of user information that leads to a practical impact for the users occurs, this will force even these giants attitude to Big Data to change in terms of how they gather and use the personal information of the users.
Another aspect of the assets that are controlled by Google and Facebook are that they are locked behind the walls of their respective eco systems, and only available if you use their products or contribute to their eco system.
This, I believe is a problem. Both from a competitive perspective but also from a democratic perspective, when so much power is controlled by only a few players. But I also believe there is another way of doing it.
Brain started as a project almost 5 years ago, in a development company owned by the Swedish morning press – Mktmedia AB. The purpose was to create a platform that allows for the sharing of traffic and visitors through data enrichment, without sharing user information. The first decision we took when building the Brain data enrichment platform was that personal information should be minimized and avoided in the greatest extent possible, and be permission based. This way minimization of data and “privacy by design” is the principle upon which Brain is built, and what I consider the way forward – to be able to build useful information that can be used to improve marketing and user experience for everyone, everywhere. And to be able to do it without building huge stacks of personal data.
It is in my mind not about having exact information and every bit of data on everyone, it’s about having correct information, at large volume, that is relevant and actionable and that is applied on users the same way, everywhere. Without having terabytes upon terabytes of personal information.
Brain delivers it’s services in the same way to all of our customers and gives them the power of more and verified information in order to deliver a better experience to their customers and meet the expectations of Online users today. Making Big Data available in this way is the way forward, I believe. By building bridges instead of walls.
– Martin Bergqvist, CEO Digital Brain Nordic AB (former Mktmedia AB)