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Need for privacy. To what extent are you willing to trade your data for content personalization?

Cristina POPOV

April 13, 2023

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Need for privacy. To what extent are you willing to trade your data for content personalization?

Privacy is top of mind for most internet users these days, with 66% of consumers around the world feeling tech companies have too much control over their personal data, as shown in YouGov surveys in 17 countries (YouGov). Adults in Spain (75%), the United Kingdom (75%), and the United States (72%) are most likely to voice worry over control of their personal data.

But some types of data are more appropriate to collect than others, according to consumers. For example, 80% of respondents in Gartner's digital commerce survey. said that brand purchase history is the most acceptable data to collect. Most consumers are also happy with brands collecting user-provided personal preferences (77%) and basic demographics (67%). People are less comfortable with brands collecting other types of data. Only 34% of consumers think it's appropriate for them to collect browsing history. Fewer feel comfortable with brands collecting employment and financial information (29%) and personal health data (27%).

Is there a middle ground between 'creepy' and 'irrelevant' when it comes to personalizing content?

No one wants irrelevant ads getting in the way of their search. As customer base and preferences evolve and competition grows fiercer, businesses must make sure their strategies keep up – which means having an effective data collection and analytics system to provide relevant offers, services and features that meet their customers' individual needs and translate into sales.

But some companies have collected and used customer data so well that they appear to know too much about their customers' online habits (you know this phenomenon — you went out browsing sneakers, and suddenly ads popped up everywhere).

When shopping online, for example, you don't share only purchase history but also name, gender, email address, delivery address, phone number, credit card details, product search history, frequently bought items, average shopping basket value, most browsed products, IP address (which can also reveal your physical location), and device information. Based on this data, trackers can build up an accurate profile of your digital identity and online habits.

So where can you draw the line when it comes to exchanging data for a better online experience?

With Bitdefender VPN, you control what data to share or not,

Bitdefender VPN helps you protect your online privacy while allowing content personalization for the websites you enjoy and trust.

In short, you can choose who you allow to see your data, show ads and offers, and block the rest. By setting up Adblocker and Antitracker features, you can stop unwanted data collection and profiling by encrypting your traffic and hiding your IP address and browsing.

The whitelisting option lets your trustworthy websites continue to see ads for your own benefit.



Cristina POPOV

Cristina is a freelance writer and a mother of two living in Denmark. Her 15 years experience in communication includes developing content for tv, online, mobile apps, and a chatbot.

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