In the age of information, access, and global connectedness consumer privacy is placed at a high value. Profila is an innovative privacy management startup aiming to bring a completely different outlook to how personal data will be managed by companies in the future. We had the opportunity to interview CEO and founder, Shawn Jensen, about how consumers can manage their personal data given to brands and companies, how brands could benefit from using Profila, and the importance of managing your digital persona.
PHOTO CREDIT: Profila
Thanks a lot for this opportunity to speak with you Shawn, we know you are very busy with the launch of Profila. Can you explain, in a way that is easy to understand for someone who is not a privacy expert what exactly Profila is?
Shawn Jensen: Profila is a simpler way for consumers to manage their personal data with the many companies and brands they do business with. Profila is an app which will enable the consumer to give explicit consent to companies wanting to use their personal data in any way. Market analysis tells us that consumers have a desire to manage their personal data but they do not know how to do this. Profila is the solution, making the legal process simpler to understand and enabling companies who have your data to talk to you directly, to ask for permission, and to give you the right to accept or reject this permission at any time.
Consumer data is everywhere, yet none of that data is owned or managed by the individual consumer. This is a risk as the digital you/image of you is much more detailed and lasts forever, why would you not want to own or at least manage your online/digital personas?
What is your background in the world of privacy? What made you think Profila is something that will be needed in the future?
S.J.: My background is actually in mobile and global enterprise business and telecommunication solutions. My interest in privacy started many years ago when asking myself the questions faced by consumers today, how could I manage and control my digital identity or footprint online? The idea for Profila is a result of my belief that we live in a sharing economy and information age where the sharing of personal data is an expression of your freedom, as is the right to privacy, yet there is no simple or effective way to manage your life online, so I thought of Profila as a neutral facilitator of the conversation needed between consumers and companies to ensure trust is reintroduced into the internet through transparency and by giving some control back to the consumer.
Why do you think a company should use Profila? What are the benefits?
S.J.: Companies want all the data they can collect on consumers to analyze and shape services. This intention is great as we all want curated or specific/tailored solutions, but that comes with a price, currently, the sacrifice of your data. There is a conflict between big data business and regulators who are driving privacy and data minimization; Profila is the facilitator or the middle ground where companies can more simply adhere to new regulations such as GDPR by obtaining explicit consent from their consumers thereby mitigating their regulatory risk, and companies can benefit from the new interaction model being driven by Profila which builds trust with the consumer, trust results in consumer retention and a larger share of wallet as consumers who trust their brand and who receive transparent and honest communications from their brands will spend more! Benefits are twofold, regulatory compliance through simpler privacy permissions management and increased revenue through establishing a trusted relationship directly with the consumer.
Why should a customer require companies he shares his personal data with to use Profila?
S.J.: Consumer data is everywhere, yet none of that data is owned or managed by the individual consumer. This is a risk as the digital you/image of you is much more detailed and lasts forever, why would you not want to own or at least manage your online/digital personas? Taking back control of your online life to manage privacy is one area, another is to ensure you are benefiting from the sharing of your data in every way possible. It is now time to start controlling your digital life.
PHOTO CREDIT: Profila
What phase of the launch of Profila are you in right now? When will it be officially launched?
S.J.: Profila is currently in pre-seed funding and in beta testing with selected partners and colleagues. We are ready to POC with customers interested in the solution and are ready to scale the business once we have received funding. Profila’s minimum viable product is a viable solution for companies wanting to start the journey in managing their new relationship with their consumers and want a simpler way to manage their regulatory obligations. The official launch is planned for mid 2017, with planned full market readiness late 2017 in time for GDPR regulation enforcement in 2018. Now is the time for companies to visit a site like https://www.teamworkims.co.uk/gdpr/ to make sure they are GDPR enabled.
We are looking forward to seeing Profila launched very soon and to see how this completely different approach on processing personal data will work out.
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