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Treat people as people with privacy-centric identity resolution

Businesses must be empowered to overcome the identity problem, that is, to see people for who they are, recognize them when their privacy wishes need to be honored, and do so across every touchpoint and system.

The challenge is that for most people, their online activity is fragmented across a number of digital identifiers, such as email addresses, mobile advertising IDs and browser IDs.

Privacy regulations address personal data across digital and ‘pseudonymous’ identifiers, but the legal rights belong to citizens, individuals and ‘natural persons’.

For example, GDPR applies to data on a ‘natural person’, but online, that data is associated with digital IDs – a natural person has the legal rights, but it could be a cookie or other digital ID with the personal data. It greatly benefits businesses to understand the connection between real people, and digital IDs, to know when they are dealing with Jane, and when they are not.  

Harmonizing all the online activity to a ‘natural person’ requires a privacy-positive approach to identity resolution.

It’s about treating people as people

When Jane expresses a preference in an email form, a mobile app, a website, or a phone, those expressions must be reflected against the person, not an isolated digital identifier. To solve for this, consent provided by Jane on your mobile website or app, could be associated with the responsibly gathered IDs and devices connected to her, ensuring an efficient and optimized privacy experience.

Privacy-first identity resolution is an alternative to the God’s-eye view that utilizes third-party identity assets to reconcile every user -- which, of course, would be terrifying for privacy -- the objective must be to make it as easy as possible for people to express their privacy priorities and then leverage all the identity assets a company has responsibly gathered, without unduly burdening people with too many requests and extra hops and go-do’s.

April 23, 2021

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