Personalization vs Privacy Paradox - Rev Interactive Digital Signage Solution Provider Malaysia

Personalization vs Privacy Paradox – Which is More Important?

In the midst of the increasing use of commercial digital signage and social media, one of the most controversial topics is privacy. As more and more people are using the Internet to interact with their friends, families, and employers, it seems that our need for privacy is growing as well. 

While it is true that digital signage does give us the ability to customize the content displayed on our screens by using a content management system, and is relevant to our daily transactions with businesses, partaking in this exchange may also reveal personal information about us.

Our data is also in the hands of corporations when we use and sign in to some applications or websites, even if we have no clue what it is or what information they have about us. This leads to the rise of the personalization vs privacy paradox.

With the growing digital signage trends, are you aware of which corporations have your data collected? Do you know what your data is being used for? 

Let’s Get Personal – What is Personalization?

Personalization is the act of tailoring marketing to the specific needs of the customer. Personalization in marketing allows marketers to communicate with the customer on an individual level. The customer can choose to receive different marketing messages, depending on their interests, behaviors and demographic profile. 

The customer can even have access to different marketing messages in real time. This is done by using data gathered from their customer interactions with the company, like previous transactions or interaction with the brand. 

Personalization is very useful in helping the customer make decisions about their purchases.The more personal information that is known about the consumer, the more relevant and useful information can be provided to them. 

Personalization can be done in a variety of ways, including:

1. Behavioral Targeting: this is when data mining results are used to identify customers with similar interests and goals.

2. Social Media Personalization: this is when companies target customers based on what they are doing on social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, etc.

3. Recommendation Personalization: this is when companies use the customer’s behavior to make recommendations for similar products or services.

Why is Personalization Important to Marketers? 6 Reason Why Personalization is Crucial For Your Brand

Personalization can be a very useful tool for marketers. They can find out what type of information customers want to receive and what they are interested in, so that the marketing messages can be tailored to their specific needs. 

They can also see how their customers interact with the marketing messages and how they react to them. This information can be used to improve the marketing strategies and give a more effective service to the customer through their content management system.

There are several reasons why personalization is important to marketers, such as:

The online platform asks its user to choose their topics of interest when signing up. Source: Piesync. Personalization vs Privacy - REV Interactive
The online platform asks its user to choose their topics of interest when signing up. Source: Piesync

1. Customer Satisfaction

Customers who receive the correct and relevant information are more satisfied with their purchase. Therefore, if a customer is able to tailor their marketing messages to their specific needs, they will be more likely to buy the product or service.

2. Analytics

Marketers can use analytics to analyze their customers’ purchasing behavior. This is important in order to understand what products or services are most successful, and therefore can be offered to the customer again.

3. Stand Out 

Marketers can make their company stand out from their competitors. They can invest in digital signage to do so. If they are able to provide the customer with relevant and useful information, they will be more likely to choose them.

4. Brand Loyalty and Customer Trust

When a customer is able to receive the correct and relevant information, they will have a better understanding of the company and their products. This will increase customer trust in the company, which can lead to more loyalty and long-term customer relationships. 

5. Higher Conversion Rate

Marketers can use customer data to make their marketing messages more appealing to the customer. If they are able to provide the customer with relevant and useful information, they will be more likely to buy their products or services. This will lead to a higher conversion rate for the business.

6. Increased Profitability

Marketers can use personalization to increase their profitability. If they are able to tailor their marketing messages, it means that they have a strong grasp on their customer base, their needs and preferences. This is likely to increase the sales of their products or services which generates more revenue and success for the company.

The examples of personalized marketing strategy are individualized email marketing, customized text messages, social media marketing (ads on social media), push notifications from apps, rewards / coupons / vouchers based on your purchases, curated product suggestions based on past purchases or likes, and more.

Consumer Privacy and Protection

What is Consumer Privacy?

Consumer privacy is the right of an individual to decide what information about them is shared with others. The consumer has the right to know what information is being collected about them and how it is being used. The more personal information that is known about consumer data, the more relevant and useful information can be provided to them.

In order to comply with the privacy laws, companies must have a privacy and data protection policy. This is a written document that tells consumers what information is being collected about them and how it will be used. Privacy policy statements must be clear and concise. 

Companies must also ensure that they do not sell, rent, or otherwise transfer customer data, and the personal information of their customers to third parties. This is called “cross-border transfer.”

When personal information is shared, it should only be shared with other companies that are subject to the same privacy laws. This is called “country-of-origin” protection.

Companies must also provide a method for their customers to correct any information that is incorrect or inaccurate. This is called “notice and choice.”

Why is Consumer Privacy a Major Concern?

Consumer privacy is a major concern because people are spending more time online and on social media, and they are sharing more information about themselves with their friends and family. They are also doing more shopping online, which means that they are providing more information about themselves to companies. 

The internet is a great place to share information, but it is also a great place to have information leaked. Consumers are in danger of having their information leaked or used for the wrong reasons. 

Data Protection and Privacy Legislation Worldwide. Source: UNCTAD. Personalization vs Privacy - REV Interactive
Data Protection and Privacy Legislation Worldwide. Source: UNCTAD

Data protection acts are one of the main ways to protect the privacy of information and run as the general data protection regulation. It is designed to make sure that consumers are able to keep their information private and that companies are not allowed to share or sell their data collection. 

It is important for companies to comply with these acts in order to protect their customers’ information. Data protection acts must be taken seriously because they are there to protect sensitive information.

Data breach by hackers. Source: Logique. Personalization vs Privacy - REV Interactive
Data breach by hackers. Source: Logique

Nevertheless, data breach is when a company is hacked and information about consumers is stolen. The data that is stolen can be sold or used in other ways. Therefore, it is important for companies to make sure that they are keeping their data secure.

The main issue with data breach is that people don’t know if their information has been stolen. Hence, it is important for companies to be able to identify a breach quickly in order to protect the people who have been affected by the breach. 

Customer data can be misused in many ways. Companies can sell this information to other companies, which means that the consumer will have a new company collecting their information. 

Customer identity fraud. Source: Innovation. Personalization vs Privacy - REV Interactive
Customer identity fraud. Source: Innovation

Moreover, identity theft is another way that customer data can be misused. Identity theft is when someone uses someone else’s information to gain access to financial information, credit cards or other important information.

The main reason why businesses should care about consumer privacy concerns is because it is their own reputation. If a company is not protecting the information that they have about their customers, then they could be at risk of having their information stolen. This could result in them losing a lot of money, and it could affect the company’s reputation. They also end up losing customer trust. 

Businesses should also be concerned about their customers’ privacy because if the information that they have about them is stolen, it can be used against them. This can lead to negative publicity for the company

Personalization vs Privacy – The Paradox of The Differences in Digital Signage Trends

The paradox between personalization vs privacy began to emerge as an issue when consumers want personalized service but are concerned about their privacy being relinquished.

Individualized service based on saved preferences is great. However, the fact that companies can get access to this information and use it for purposes other than marketing has caused many people to become very concerned about privacy. 

Personalization can clash with privacy. Source: Acquire. Personalization vs Privacy - REV Interactive
Personalization can clash with privacy. Source: Acquire

Many people believe that companies should not be able to get access to such personal data and that this information should be treated as private. This can also be because of how much control a person has over their personal information, such as how they choose to share it with other people.

In practice, marketers want to provide customers with the best individualized service, but it may include consumer data collection. A dilemma experienced by customers too, who want this personalized service but want to keep trackable data private. 

An example is when a person visits a store. They walk into the store and browse around. When they find something that they like, they want to buy it. A person’s preferences can be determined by their browsing habits and how much information is gathered about them through the website, which allows for personalized marketing.

When the customer finds out that their data is being used for these purposes, this can be very unsettling. They feel as though they have been tricked into providing information about themselves because most of them want their data to be private. 

This dilemma is referred to as the personalization vs privacy paradox. The paradox states that personalized marketing can be beneficial to both customers and marketers, but personal data must be protected. 

The Best of Both Worlds – Personalization and Privacy Protection

The paradox can be solved by a solution that combines the best of both worlds. Personalization and privacy protection can be achieved by giving customers the option to choose which information they want to share with marketers. They can also have access to their own data so that they can see how their information is being used. 

The fact that marketers will have less information about them will not impact their decision making process because they will still be able to see what information is available and use it to tailor their marketing messages. 

However, both the company and consumer can take serious action about this problem. There are several things that should do by the company, such as:

Be transparent with customers. Source: Sproutsocial. Personalization vs Privacy - REV Interactive
Be transparent with customers. Source: Sproutsocial

1. Be as transparent as possible with customers

Explain to the customer how the company is using their data. Make sure that customers have a clear understanding of what they are signing up for when they sign up for a service. Furthermore, make sure that the customer understands that they are giving their consent to allow the company to use their data for marketing purposes.

2. Make a privacy policy that can be easily accessible on platforms

Businesses should make it easy for the customer to find out what information is being shared with them and why. The readership of privacy policies should be encouraged and customers should be prompted to provide their digital consent to a company’s access of their data. Contact information should be included on the same page so that customers can communicates any doubts that may arise.

Ensure that the privacy policy is easy to access. Personalization vs Privacy - REV Interactive
Ensure that the privacy policy is easy to access.

3. Only necessary data collection

The data needed only for the specific personalization requested by the customer should be collected. This will prevent the company from gathering unnecessary information, but it will still allow them to gather enough information to provide a personalized service.

Protecting your customers' data. Source: Cyberthreat. Personalization vs Privacy - REV Interactive
Protecting your customers’ data. Source: Cyberthreat

4. Acknowledge the law and data protection acts

The company should make it clear that they are aware of the law and that they comply with all protection acts. Acknowledging these privacy laws adds to their credibility and will build brand trust.

5. Admit it if mistakes were made

The company should acknowledge if mistakes had been made, whether it is due to a data breach because of poor security or an account that was hacked. The company should take action when mistakes are made and they should always notify the customers.

6. Allow open channels of communication

The company should make it clear that they are aware of any concerns customers have about their data. They should allow these concerns to be voiced through channels such as email, social media or other methods. This open channel of communication helps establish trust.

7. Run data security checks periodically

The company should run security checks periodically to ensure that their systems are secure. 

To Conclude, As A Consumer You Should…

The weight of responsibility should not fall only on the company’s shoulders. Consumers need to assume agency in protecting their data as well. Consumers can play their part by:

1. Being informed

Customers should try to understand what they are agreeing to, read privacy policies, be critical, and not fully trust companies. The consumer should be aware of the fact that they are providing their personal information, which will be used for marketing purposes. It is also important to make sure that you know what companies are doing with your data and how it is being used.

2. Asking if they have doubts

Establish contact with the brand if you have questions or ask legal advice from a lawyer. The consumer should not hesitate to take legal action against the company if they feel that their privacy has been violated.

3. Using anonymity (optional) 

Using anonymity where possible is a way to protect your privacy. This can be done by creating a new email address, signing up for a social media account, or other user accounts. Many online surveys also allow you to tick the anonymous box.


In conclusion, between personalization vs privacy, both of them are important. Personalization, as a marketing strategy, helps companies provide more effective services to the customer. However, privacy is very important to consumers because they want to protect their information. 

It should be noted that every consumer needs to stay safe in the digital era. We can prioritize online security and only share what we are comfortable with to companies that are reputable and trustworthy. 

It is important to find a trusted solution provider if you decide on implementing smart signage, such as the ones offered by REV Interactive. You can contact us if you have any questions or need a consultation for your online security.

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