Stifling innovation or protecting privacy?

Just a snippet: Experian, the consumer credit rating agency, is touting itself as the next big thing in targeted marketing. Combine your credit history with some recent transaction data and the claim is they’ll be able to predict your future shopping activity. All sounds a bit Big Brother? Sure, and if you’re in advertising or market research, it might also sound a bit like a death knell.

So you’ll be grateful that the forthcoming General Data Protection Regulations will most likely make this kind of thing illegal – or at least impractical – in Europe. Both the requirement for explicit consent, and the provisions against profiling, seem to me to militate directly against this kind of big data analysis.

Of course, if you think this sort of purchase prediction could be good for consumers – reducing prices, driving market efficiency, increasing convenience – then you might be disappointed that the US – and other major markets – will be getting the technology, and we Europeans probably won’t.

More on the cyber impact of Brexit and Bremain tomorrow…

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