There are those who believe that privacy is dead in the digital age, so forget about innovation in the age of GDPR. However, innovation that accounts for privacy protection is absolutely crucial, since a critical market share will refuse to accept and adopt technologies that don’t. 87% of end customers now report changing service providers if they do not handle their personal data adequately (1). Roger Dooley—a breakthrough thinker for today’s business agenda—elaborates:
“In [his] book’s closing chapter, Cialdini cites the example of a gas station which took advantage of a shortage to charge its customers ten times the normal price for fuel. The owner garnered huge short-run profits, but as soon as the shortage abated, customers abandoned the station and it eventually went out of business. Cialdini suggests ways that the owner could have used ethical means that would have made him profitable in the short run [but simultaneously, also have helped him] preserve or even…[enhance] his standing with his customers” (8).
Data anonymisation is one of many innovative strategies that marketers have been hesitant about. It is an urban myth that data anonymization destroys data and makes it unusable (2). For instance, LINC has been exploring the use of anonymized data in projects like CabAnon (3). The results, published in the article, “Can anonymized data still be useful”, demonstrate that in some cases anonymized data can be helpful (3). “LINC’s taxi database contains one entry per ride. Each entry gives the start and end times and locations for the ride. The use cases that LINC focused on use this data. The taxi database, however, contains a lot of other information: the taxi identifier, the driver identifier, the fare and tip amounts, the taxi vendor, and the number of passengers”, that could be dispensed with (3).
LINC put the use data to work to help passengers estimate their travel time in a cab from any location for which enough taxi data exists to LaGuardia airport (3). LINC looked at “three different time periods: the hour from 13:00 to 14:00 on weekends, the hour from 8:00 to 9:00 on weekdays, and the hour from 17:00 to 18:00 on weekdays. These three time periods were chosen to contrast non-rush hour with rush hour, and to contrast the morning rush from the evening rush” (3).