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Agadir Press

Here's how to use anonymized personal data to create better services

Here's how to use anonymized personal data to create better services

Here's how to use anonymized personal data to create better services
Ask anyone for their opinion on the companies using their data and the answer will almost always be negative. Not surprisingly, revelation after revelation revealed that Google's and Facebook's tastes not only benefit from user data, but are often reckless or intrusive. 

The level of understanding that large technological entities have of the lifestyle and preferences of the average Internet user is sometimes frightening. 
In 2012, Target used purchasing data to determine that a teenage girl was pregnant before her own father even knew it, in a story that now represents an excessive scope of the company. They regularly sent diaper and cradle coupons to women they hoped to be pregnant, although the client never explicitly told them.

When it was found that this made the beneficiaries uncomfortable, Target sent them booklets containing childcare vouchers in such a way as to give the impression that they were there by chance.  

It may seem sneaky, but it's not illegal 
Online sellers who track movements on the Internet will have more personal data than Target and will use it in an equally intrusive way.

Public mistrust of how companies process this type of personal data has indirectly led to radical legislation in Europe in the form of GPRs. The legislation, which came into force in May 2018, is a welcome development, giving more power to the individual with regard to the data collected about him and his use by companies.

By choosing this option, users must actively choose the perceived benefits of using corporate data.

As a result, data pools will be reduced and contextual advertising is used to fill gaps. An overwhelming majority (87%) of Sizmek respondents plan to intensify their contextual targeting efforts in light of the DGMP, while 77% agree that legislation makes it more difficult to target third-party data and ads. 

The lack of user desire to share data with companies is such that alternatives to personalization - almost unanimously advocated as the future of advertising - will have to be explored.

What data do you REALLY want to share? 
One element that is often lost in the conversation about the use of user data is that, in an ideal world, users should want to share their data.

First, the use of data can improve the user experience of a web page. Media can present content tailored to the user's preferences, in the same way that retailers can suggest products based on purchase history.

Google's semi-automatic entry functionality is strongly based on your browsing history and simplifies the entire process of using the search engine. Go further and personal data can be used to build more efficient cities, create better products and even advance the medical sector.  

An example is the personal genetic brand 23andMe. The company will analyze its customers' DNA at a relatively low cost, providing them with information on their genetic health risks and carrier status.

According to 23andMe, he has analyzed the DNA of more than 10 million clients, more than 80% of whom have chosen to leave their data available for research.

On average, the company reports that each person participating in the program contributes to 200 different research studies and 23andMe has published more than 100 peer-reviewed studies in scientific journals. It has partnered with companies such as Genentech and Pfizer, providing data that have led to the development of treatments for Parkinson's and Crohn's diseases.

23andMe is a particularly interesting example, because DNA is inherently personal. It is so unique and identifiable that it belongs to a particular individual that you cannot imagine sharing more intrusive content.

The difference, however, is that very few people would be able to personally identify a person by their DNA results, and DNA results reflect very little of the personality and behaviours of their owner. Many people would have publicly shared their DNA results much earlier rather than their browsing histories, for example.

Healthcare is based on personal data
There is a strong argument for making private data more accessible to public projects; the effects when used for the public good can be powerful.

In 2004, the popular arthritis and pain medication Vioxx was withdrawn from the market by the manufacturer Merck &. Co, after discovering that the use of this drug resulted in an increased risk of cardiovascular problems such as heart attacks and strokes.

The link was found when a researcher from the US Food and Drug Administrators
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