Recently, the government struck down regulations that imposed tight restrictions on what telecom providers could do with their customers’ data. According to the Economic Times, the repealed rules required telecom providers who deliver broadband services to receive customers’ permission before offering their data to marketers. This data includes personal identification information like health and financial details, geographic location and lists of websites visited, as well as apps used.
The government opposition and telecom industry officials argued that the restrictions would have unfairly burdened broadband providers because other entities, like social networking websites, would not have to abide by the same rules. Those organizations would still be able to offer customer data to marketers without their permission. However, this argument is seriously flawed.
Opponents to the previous regulation argued the ruling was unfair to broadband providers because they needed to constantly monitor much more comprehensive consumer behavior patterns across multiple service providers. Entities like social networking websites have access to valuable customer information only as users engage their apps or as users visit their websites via browsers.
In addition, broadband providers have access to data for every online business and every consumer that uses that network of broadband providers. Social networking companies can only track behavior within their user base.
But besides the important privacy concerns of this, there are some benefits.
From a purely analytics standpoint, this ruling gives broadband providers massive amounts of data to work with. It will allow them to address each customer individually, for true segment-of-one marketing.
With endless amounts of data available to them, broadband providers will have the ability to offer additional services to their customers and to other businesses. Not only will they now have ownership of valuable consumer behavior data that would be of interest to any business in any industry, but they can also combine it with geographic location data from smart phones to offer value-add outcomes and services such as near-real-time and very focused marketing campaigns to individuals, rather than segments.
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