Partnering with Transparency 

By CEO & Co-Founder, Yaron Nahari

Partnering with Transparency

By CTO & Co-Founder, Amit Attias

Bigabid upholds transparency as a core value in all of our relationships from clients to users, employees, and investors. It is the basis of our workflow, and therefore, it flows throughout our technology. Transparency breeds trust, and trust leads to a stronger infrastructure and the prosperity of partnerships and products. It is a crucial factor in a company’s healthy growth.

In staying faithful to our transparency “mantra”, Bigabid has been able to openly brainstorm with clients to increase performance and build stronger, more successful long-term partnerships.

Of course, transparency should be the aim of all industries, but I will focus on ours, the digital advertising space. There is room for improvement, and hopefully being transparent about transparency is a good way to start.

 

Transparency as a Core Principle in Data Protection
Personal data can be described as the basic currency or even lifeblood of the information economy. Arguably a key asset, it is a critical enabler for modern business competitiveness. A number of studies describe the link between microeconomics, the use of personal data, and the increase in contribution to the worldwide GDP (Gross domestic product) and overall economic growth. Here’s one of many examples by the OECD – Economic and social benefits of data access and sharing.

Personal data can lead to efficiency gains in existing marketplaces because organizations better understand their customers’ preferences. It may even create markets for new services and companies. Small and medium businesses can take advantage of personal data to more effectively reach a smaller or more defined customer base.

Of course, there’s a big tradeoff. There is an inherent tension between the rights and desires of consumers to be anonymous on the web and the commercial interests of businesses that invest billions in creating the services we have all come to rely on.
The general public has become increasingly aware of the potential for their personal data to be abused. As early as 2008, the UK Information Commissioner reported that there had been 277 cases of noncompliance involving personal information as reported since 2007.

 

A Brief History of Data Privacy
In terms of data, transparency and privacy have become very trendy terms as media reports of more and more breaches and misuse. A few publicly known data privacy related events from the last couple of decades worth mentioning are:

  • 2006 – Right to be forgotten is recognized by Google and the EU – the right to have private information about an individual can be removed from internet searches and other directories under certain circumstances.
  • 2013 – NSA agent Edward Snowden shared thousands of classified documents with journalist Glenn Greenwald.
  • 2018 – Cambridge Analytica – the company acquired and used personal data from Facebook users from an external researcher who had told Facebook it was collected for academic purposes.

 

While the discussion around privacy and its relation to technology has gained more attention in recent years, it is definitely not a new topic:

  • “Right to be let alone”, even back in 1890 privacy hit the headlines through one of the most known law review articles in American history, written by Samuel Warren and Louis Brandeis. It pointed at the advent of instantaneous photography and the widespread circulation of newspapers, stating that both have contributed to the invasion of an individual’s privacy.
  • In Europe, the protection of privacy as an essential human right came into being after the Second World War when communication surveillance was heavily used.
  • In the 1970’s, the private sector began to use personal data extensively following the arrival and broad uptake of Information Communication Technology (ICT).
  • The European Data Protection Directive came into force in 1995, which regulates the processing of personal data within the European Union (EU).

 

With the full picture in mind, we can better understand the trends and policies we now see, especially in regards to the most known policy to date, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

The EU’s GDPR, published on April 14th, 2016, became enforceable on May 25th, 2018 and completely revolutionized the data landscape in Europe. GDPR was designed to define data privacy laws across the EU, giving individuals greater control and transparency over their personal information.

 

User Data as a Weapon in Corporate Wars

Some companies may profit from the use of such information, while others can use their power and market domination to deny access to such information from their competitors, or even allow access with their allies.

A very relevant and recent example is the latest “battle” between Facebook and Apple (or may I say between Apple and the app development ecosystem). While Facebook is highly reliant on personal data to provide its advertising services, Apple, which has long-term aspirations in the ad-tech world, is much less reliant on advertisement budgets and can gain an unfair advantage with its own ad network by denying access to others. All the while, Apple is currently being accused of breaching European privacy law so the war is far from over.

 

Transparency as a Core Principle in Data Privacy
Every individual has the right to know what personal data of theirs is collected, used, consulted, and to what extent it may have or will be processed. Although it seems like we are on the verge of an apocalyptic privacy war that only initiated recently, based on the 19th century evidence I’ve outlined, this is a chain reaction that started a long time ago.

Apple has introduced a high-intensity experiment that could lead to the dismantling of some of their own partnerships. Such an outcome could force them to either reconsider or create a solution that provides a more peaceful and prosperous balance for all. Though the latter might incentivize other giants like Google and Facebook to follow suit and write the next chapter in the privacy wars, we should never stop innovating and striving to find balance.

No matter what the next link in the chain might look like, I strongly believe we can adhere to the core values of privacy and transparency while still improving the agreeable continuity between the advertiser and the end user. 

A self-driving car service precisely picks you up according to the data in your calendar. During that drive, the backseat monitor doesn’t bother you with irrelevant ads but shows you the best local restaurants knowing you’re out of town on business. Utilizing personal data is neither good nor bad in itself; it’s about how we use it to better our lives. When it’s blocked without conditions or cause then so is our progress.

 

Where Privacy Meets Transparency in Trust
At Bigabid, we believe privacy is essential. It is just as vital to businesses as it is to the customers they serve. Much like transparency, a business that respects the privacy rights and preferences of its customers, especially through appropriate controls, earns their trust. This trust is vital to the future of the web and e-commerce. Without it, businesses cannot maintain sustainable growth, and consumers won’t have access to the quality of products and services they deserve.

Transparency and privacy are not opposed to each other as they both breed trust. Together, they can be upheld and balanced to promote better business and better lives. I invite you to connect with us and discuss how we can partner with transparency, respect privacy, while contributing to our mutual growth. Please click the “contact us” button below.

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