Recently, a lot of buzz was created around GDPR and it’s not expected to die down soon.
So, why is it such a big deal?
GDPR stands for General Data Protection Regulation and it’s the most significant EU parliamentary measure addressing the rightful use of our personal data. First approved in 2016, it gave businesses two years to comply and it finally came into full force on May 25th this year.
The idea behind the introduction of GDPR is straightforward- it is supposed to replace the previous Data Protection Directive and protect users’ data in a more conceivable way.
Namely, marketers tend to collect, analyze and even monetize the personally identifiable data we leave online, without even asking us for consent. With GDPR, this won’t be possible. Namely, this regulation is all about providing the EU users the rightful control of their personal data. In their charter, they emphasized that:
“The protection of natural persons in relation to the processing of personal data is a fundamental right.”
To be GDPR-compliant, businesses should not only deal with consumer data carefully, but also give them a plethora of opportunities to control, monitor, check, and even delete any information related to them. Most importantly, they need to go the extra mile in protecting their users’ data, using the means of pseudonymization, anonymization, and encryption.
And, this is exactly where Personal BlackBox (pbb.me) comes to shine.
PBB is all about creating products and services that build and nourish fully transparent, trusted, and private data relationships between companies and people. As public benefit enterprise, this company works together with the PBB Trust, a Delaware statutory trust, to provide all PBB members and businesses with the ultimate personal data control, privacy, and value.
“We’re creating a new, powerful marketing platform for companies, from consumer goods to insurance, to deliver compelling data and, most importantly, security and value for both businesses and people,” emphasized Haluk Kulin, the founder and the CEO of the company.
The Value of Customer Data: PBB Empowers You to Treat your Personal Data like your Private Asset
In our recent article, we’ve discussed what the digital footprint notion stands for and came to a conclusion that absolutely every piece of information we leave behind- every post, like, or comment- is a part of our online reputation.
But, have you ever asked yourself how much marketers really know about you? Probably not.
Much before the Facebook-Cambridge Analytica data scandal, Nell Merlino, PBB’s director and the creator of Take Our Daughters to Work Day, addressed this issue prophetically:
“Facebook, Google and Amazon have an enormous amount of data about each of us. If you called Facebook and asked for it, they would send you 1,000 pages.”
Unfortunately, users don’t know understand how valuable this data actually is.
She adds that:
“A lot of consumers don’t know that the data they generate has value and that they can use it for themselves. But it’s not as simple as, say, hooking up a digital vacuum cleaner to your laptop or smartphone and sucking all the ones and zeroes out. Consumers will need a third party to usher them into the process and make collecting and selling the data easier.”
And, Personal BlackBox is one of the first companies aiming at bridging this gap.
Namely, massive quantities of personal data are being generated everywhere online. This data is now treated as a legal and financial liability and it usually ends up in the hands of marketers who use it to gain invaluable customer insights for free.
This is something Personal BlackBox is about to change.
They’re doing one quite simple thing- they give people ownership, security, and control of their personal data and the value it represents. The PBB Trust uses the advanced encryption systems to gather, analyze and safeguard all this data, ensuring that a user is the only one having access to it.
They encourage users to treat their personal data as their private asset and, in this way, benefit from it financially.
Here is how.
Given the fact that you own your own data, you can collect uniquely rich and relevant information about your needs, goals, desires, and worries.
You have a full control of your personal data, deciding which information you will give and who you will give it to. Most importantly, as a user, you’re the one getting the insights and benefits from your information and not the third party.
“It will unlock the potential of personal data for members and clients by helping them protect, see, and grow its value,” Merlino points out.
No more black market in the online sphere.
This is the foundation of what we know as People-Powered Marketing and PBB’s approach will take it to a whole new level in the years to come.
The Greenr App: Helping You Get the Most of your Data and Make the World a Better Place
The guys behind PBB highlight that they’re a company committed to society and the environment, benefiting both people and the world.
As a member of the Green Button Alliance, Personal BlackBox has developed the energy app called Greenr App (getgreenr.me).
Under the “Save money and the environment by engaging with sustainable brands” slogan, this application helps users minimize their energy use and cut their power bills. It lets the users see their energy data and calculate their annual, monthly, daily or hourly usage and energy savings.
The app gives its users the full control of their data. Simply put, each piece of information they share is fully transparent and can be easily tracked via visually-appealing graphical representation.
Once you sign up with the Greenr app, you become a member of the PBB Trust and Personal BlackBox gives you the right to benefit from the data you leave behind.
So, here is what type of data PBB collects:
- Users’ personally identifiable information, such as their full name or email address.
- Users’ lifestyle data. Users can share the information about themselves, such as their demographic or purchasing histories, how many miles they run, what type of food they want to eat, etc.
- One’s location information. PBB collects and stores the data about their users’ location to provide them with customized opportunities to participate in relevant marketing campaigns.
- One’s technical information, such as your browser, the device you use, internet service provider, referring or exit pages, operating system, log files, IP address, the dates and times you used the services.
- Cookies. Even if you’re not a member of the PBB trust, PBB sends a few cookies to your computer to remember your activities on their site and provide you with a more personalized browsing experience in the future.
This is a user’s private data that is stored by PBB and won’t be shared with any third parties unless a user agrees in advance with this.
This way, the app gives users the opportunity to harness all the power of the data they provide.
- They can set your energy saving goals and monitor their progress towards their goals in real time.
- Being fully compliant with the GDPR rules, the Greenr app gives users the opportunity to choose what information to share, as well as keep track of what personal data is collected about them and by whom.
- They can get incentivized for the insights you provide.
- The data they share with the brands they trust helps energy businesses and marketers create a highly targeted content for them. This way, more relevant content, surveys, quizzes, and deals will be offered to them.
- They can also take advantage of Greenvile, a social aggregator that helps them engage friends, family, and neighbors in friendly competition, inspiring them to go green. As a group, they can even donate collective rebates to the causes they consider crucial.
Helping Marketers and Businesses Build Stronger Relationships with Their Target Audience
Embodied in our personally identifiable data, our preferences, habits, needs, and problems help marketers and businesses create highly targeted campaigns that are really valuable to their potential customers.
However, the landscape of targeted marketing is extremely complex and, when doing customer segmentation, marketers face colossal amounts of information. Unsurprisingly, not all this information is valuable to them.
As a for-profit social enterprise, PBB makes this process much simpler.
Serving as an intermediary, the link between businesses and the right target audience, Personal BlackBox actually helps them sharpen their focus and narrow it to what really matters to them- the data provided by those customers that are really interested in what they have to offer.
Here is how advertisers and enterprises can benefit from becoming a part of the PBB community:
- You can use new and existing customer data to create new revenue opportunities.
- By minimizing irrelevant ROT information, you will manage to improve your data management processes and create a fine-tuned database of valuable customers that are really interested in you.
- With this kind of information at hand, you can create highly targeted content, relevant surveys, and personalized offers to engage your customers and boost your conversion rates.
- PBB allows you to launch products and services, knowing that they are meeting the GDPR requirements. This helps you create better data relationships with your customers, based on trust.
The New Approach to Designing Trust
When designing their site or app, we usually focus on the concepts and ideas that already exist.
This is not the case with Personal BlackBox.
And, this was beautifully explained by Massive Change Network’s Bruce Mau, who worked on their sophisticated app design.
In his case study, he emphasized that: “In the case of Personal BlackBox (PBB), we are designing a new category of legal, technical, and visual product. In this kind of system, everything is design.”
Here are how they managed to communicate the idea of being both open and trusted, accessible and secure at the same time:
- Simple visual identity expressed through simple, round, and friendly fonts and minimalistic logo.
- Easy-to-understand, visually-appealing goal dashboard, showing the goals you set and your actual progress towards them.
- The digital mirror feature, where they can take a look at their “Lifetime Value” and its impact on online brands.
We shouldn’t forget that a company’s online presence starts with a quality site. For Personal BlackBox, this is their highly informative and responsive pbb.me site. Given the fact that Personal BlackBox is a public benefit enterprise, we are extremely proud that they chose .ME to support their vision. This was somehow a logical choice- .ME is all about YOU, and it’s was an effective way for PBB to prove how much they care about their users’ data privacy.