Can personalization as we know it survive 2018? The most praised tactic in digital marketing has contributed to a divisive, fractured conversation about the nature of privacy.
Consider that some of the most controversial tech stories have involved varying degrees of personalization: Russian propaganda bots tricked social media algorithms to influence what users saw. Uber was accused of abusing location services to sidestep law enforcement. Facebook generously offered to collect your nude photos—to prevent "revenge porn," of course. Such stories undermined trust in technologies that collect personal data.
Personalization without choices and transparency doesn't feel like personalization to the user. However, the marketing community can re-establish trust by subjecting those services and tactics to tough questions. I have created three tests that can help us keep personalization honest.