Targeted advertising and personalisation that makes use of an ever more discreet range of tracking technology has been a central part of online life for years - largely ignored by internet users or viewed as harmless or even helpful.
However, as regulations like GDPR / CCPA have pushed conversations around data privacy and automated individual decision-making into the mainstream, users are starting to take an interest in how their online experience is shaped by these opaque advertising technologies.
How advertising technology works
When a user accesses a website, they can opt to give that website consent to track their activity. The website takes the data that is collected and builds a profile of the user, making a series of assumptions about the kind of things they might like to see or consume while visiting their site. For example, someone accesses a news website and reads an article about Bitcoin. In future sessions that user might see more articles and adverts about cryptocurrency, finance or investment.
Consumers are more and more aware of this practice but so far have not been able to meaningfully engage with it, instead being offered an ‘accept it or leave’ option adopted by the platforms. When users are given a choice, they are grabbing it with both hands, as evidenced when Apple, as was seen when Apple began offering users the chance to opt-out as part of a recent iOS update, later showing that only 4 percent of iOS users in the U.S. chose to let apps track them. (Source: https://mashable.com/article/ios-14-5-users-opt-out-of-ad-tracking)
The battleground is now being fought on the question of trust, consumers know many of the services they enjoy using still track them (albeit in increasingly discreet and nefarious ways), so how then can personalised consumer-centric experiences co-exist in a world of discreet tracking and automated individual decision-making?
This is where FORTYEIGHT comes in.
How FORTYEIGHT can help
FORTYEIGHT acts as a transparency interface between you and your website visitors, letting those users know what observations are being made about them by you and your technology, and giving them the option to review and verify the accuracy of those observations.
Step 1: When a user visits your website or app, you observe their interest in ‘Technology’ as a result of them having read multiple news articles on the topic of technology.
Step 2: For each observation you make about the user, your system notifies FORTYEIGHT using our RESTful API or by uploading a CSV of these observations.
Step 3: We inform the user in real-time, providing them with a simple interface to view and understand the observation(s) you have made about them, and to review their accuracy.
By providing users with real-time profiling information, you can start to rebuild trust in the advertising technology that funds much of today’s free internet. Instead of analysing users’ browsing activity ‘behind closed doors’, FORTYEIGHT brings this out into the open, creating a two-way dialogue with users which helps them build confidence in how their data has been processed and what it is being used for.
Why you should use FORTYEIGHT
The benefits of integrating FORTYEIGHT with your website or app are to show your site visitors that you value transparency and want to give them the autonomy to see, review and control the profile you are building of them.
This not only improves the user experience but also helps ensure the personalised content you are targeting them with is appropriate and accurate, while putting the user at the centre of the automated individual decision-making.
This novel approach also helps address the mounting concern over the implementation of Article 22 of GDPR within the digital advertising industry. FORTYEIGHT’s transparency-as-a-service API ensures users are given the means to express their point of view over the data collected about them. You can read more about using FORTYEIGHT to address Article 22 in this article.
Getting started with FORTYEIGHT
From your end it’s simple - once you sign up with FORTYEIGHT, you connect with our API to notify us each time a new observation has been made about a user. We use that notification to inform the user, who then decides what to do with it.
With privacy and brand transparency becoming key battlegrounds in the fight for customer loyalty, don’t get left behind and let us help you reduce risk, build trust and increase accuracy.
Book a demo with our team to learn more about FORTYEIGHT.