February 6, 2017

Digital identity management as key component of future customer experience

Ksenia Avetisova

Head of Enhanced Reality Lab & Strategic Innovation Lead, Data-Driven Businesses, Tieto

Antti Kettunen

Digital Hustler, Tieto

The effects of technological advancement and digitisation are felt not only across all industries, but also in private lives of each one of us. Lives of families are changing and becoming easier in some respect, yet more complicated in other.

Privacy cloakThe topic of digital privacy and maintaining your personal data access has been steadily gaining momentum. During the few last years we’ve been working with multiple stakeholders and holding several workshops to collect insights and create concepts that paint the possible scenarios of the future we are facing.

Every day massive amounts of data are created by sensors monitoring machines in factories, people posting videos and pictures to social media sites and records being created from online shopping transactions to name a few. We are now generating so much data that in fact 90% of all of the data in the world has been created in the last two years.

Footprint trackingAs users, we leave more traces of ourselves in the digital world than ever before. When you go to buy groceries - you are identified by your loyalty card, when you surf the internet - your browsing history is being recorded, when you sign up to new online services - you are often asked to give away a lot of information about yourself. Without even realizing, you are freely providing a looking glass into your life. A classic example of this is recorded in the US, where Target created so advanced behavioral tracking algorithm that it figured out a teenager was pregnant – before her parents knew about it!

Today the gathering, packaging and selling of people’s online data is already a big business. Even though data brokerage isn’t common in EU yet, it’s affecting our daily lives as you read these lines. Companies are now utilising people’s personal data quite freely, but this is about to change. Instead of trying to mask your digital identity with services like F-Secure’s Freedome, what if you would be in total control of your data? The General Data Protection Legislation (GDPR) that came into force in the EU in May 2016, and will be in full adoption by 25th of May 2018, will give full power to citizens to control data that is being gathered about them and also to control who can use it. GDPR might be seen as a threat, but we see that it opens endless opportunities for creating superb customer experience across multiple industries and driving business growth.

Few concepts that came up during our investigation into the topic of digital privacy include

  • A long-standing dream for a smart shopping assistant, that would pretty much predict exactly what you need and be able to offer it to you at exactly the point when you need it. Shopping made easy for both consumers and retailers with help of data and technology.
  • Big concern is children’s behaviour in digital times they are being brought up. We looked into how to protect kids online from questionable activity, but still allow them to have the particular level of own privacy.
  • Another service concept is built around the core idea of keeping a tight grip of what you shared and what others shared about you, choosing what to leave behind and being able to delete unwanted content even if posted by anyone else.
  • Finally, we have been looking into the possibility to flexibly control social and personal aspects of one’s digital identity based on situations in a physical world. Privacy Cloak is a concept that takes away an effort of managing complicated settings and consent by utilizing simple interaction via a wearable device such as a ring.

This is not the only a vision for the future of managing data. The first step to making these and many other concepts possible is the MyData initiative, which has been brought to light in recent months in Finland and EU. The MyData consent based architecture proposes a solution to the current scenario, where personal data is distributed in different places, without the individual having easy access to it. In the MyData architecture, it is the individual users, who are the ones giving consented access to their data to 3rd parties. This change in balance of power enables new kinds of business models, where the consumer can give access to those who provide the best and most personal customer experience.

The second exciting advance that’s coming is the combination of identity management and distributed ledger technologies (e.g. blockchain is a type of distributed ledger). These kind of “identity ledgers” offer immutable and verifiable records of your identity. Think of being able to verify that you’re over 18, without actually revealing your date of birth. Or digitally proving your identity to a stranger, with 100% security and verifiability. We are working with one of these technologies, called Sovrin (sovrin.org) to realize the future of digitalization today.

Now, the more important question is: are we as a society ready for what is coming? According to the study conducted by Tieto and partners in Sweden during december 2016, consumers are mindful of the use of their data and are ready to take control.

We are working on multiple levels of digital privacy and MyData. Tieto has always been the core of digitalization in the Nordics, now spearheading the future of digital privacy. Get in touch with us to discuss how to prepare your business for upcoming changes and to be the first ones to reap benefits of the next wave of transformation.

Tieto Experience Hub is Tieto’s strategic innovation program, focused on cross-industry collaboration, design thinking and customer-centricity. Tieto XHub is meant to guide traditional businesses through digital transformation by developing new service models and operating methods in close collaboration with the business customer, while taking into consideration the needs of the end customer.

Being part of Customer Experience Management internal startup and supported by Tieto’s design and development professionals, Tieto XHub creates an ecosystem that involves multiple partner companies, universities and startups into the mix. Since 2015 it is successfully pursuing the vision to create more value for Tieto’s clients and their consumers through digital services (powered by Tieto).

Read more about Tieto Experience Hub.

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