What you should know before pressing 'I Agree' button

Data protection is the key, and consumers need to be educated

NEW DELHI: 'Data is the new oil' is what we have been hearing for a long time now and observing how the marketing industry is relying on this pool of numbers to guess user behaviour, identify target consumers and customer-centric marketing campaigns. One mode of reaching out to prospective customers has been the use of programmatic advertising, using buying and selling of data using artificial intelligence.

While this gives the marketers and advertisers great power in hand to grow their business, it also raises pertinent questions about the pressing topic of consumer data protection, too.

In a virtual press meet, organised by Xaxis India, country head Bharat Khatri addressed the issue. While there are options for the consumers to protect their data and limit access they give to the apps and browsers, the lag remains in making them aware about these choices.

“To give you a quick example, you can use the settings option on your android device to opt-out of ad personalisation, which means stop sharing your advertising ID with any of the apps, or on a music streaming platform like Spotify, you can see and monitor all the data you are sharing with them,” Khatri said.

He added, “Yes, in a country like India, there is a lot that can be done to make the consumers aware of these options. There needs to be education around this.”

In a separate telephonic conversation with, IdeateLabs MD Amit Tripathi also stated that data privacy is a big issue as digital grows. “Data is not very safe online. With every “I Agree” button you click, you are sharing lots of personal information with the platform. It makes sense from a business perspective, as to provide you with free services, they will have to get the advertisers’ money coming in.”

While all these digital platforms, the apps or browsers, give the users the option to opt-out of data sharing, limiting access to personal information, etc., is a cumbersome procedure. People need to be educated about this.

“I think there is a vast opportunity for entrepreneurs to work in this field and I believe that in future, not so distant, we will have actual training for how to protect your data online, or how to deal with cyber bullying. There are a lot of progressive schools that are already teaching the latter, and I think, in future, it is going to be even more rampant,” Tripathi commented.

He continued that only drafting policies might not be a solution as in a big country like India, it will take some time to get it implemented. “For example, even for setting a cybercrime cell, you need trained manpower, hackers to compete with hackers, people who understand data; and this force can’t be created overnight. We obviously will need to train people and set up a system.”

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