If you follow technology and marketing news, I have to question your life decisions. But if you do, you probably notice that the tech and marketing worlds are in love with the promises of Big Data — and small data and your data. Every time they make an announcement about an awesome new advancement in tracking consumers’ behavior, purchasing habits or favorite color and targeting ads and sales pitches to them, they always make sure to point out that there’s nothing to worry about, though, in terms of privacy and security, because the data’s been anonymized.
My latest column in Ad Age tackles the topic:
Data anonymization is a load of horseshit. Data anonymization is also a clever bit of technical and verbal misdirection used by marketers and tech people to keep regulators at bay.
What data anonymization decidedly isn’t, by any meaningful definition that has to do with reality, is making consumers and/or their data truly anonymous to marketers and tech people.
Or go back to dumping tons of personal information into Facebook and then whining about your privacy later.