Customer data abuse and the privacy-first revolution

calendar iconSep 22, 2022

Customer data abuse and the privacy-first revolution

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Customer data abuse and the privacy-first revolution

The privacy-first revolution is here! Changing views, new legislation, and the abolition of third-party cookies have all upset traditional marketing strategies based on first-party and third-party data, generating an urgent need for organizations to invest in ethical and compliant alternatives.

Why have so many companies abused their customers' data?

For the past decade, it has seemed acceptable to abuse customers' personal data and track them down on an individual level with the goal of trying to sell a little more by pushing the same messaging down people’s faces again and again [1].

Companies have been using consumer data to bring in new customers, for example, through targeted ads and informed marketing campaigns, but generally to anticipate user behavior right down to the click! Website cookies and embedded code that track user behavior might be considered a kind of surveillance at a high level. In our homes and businesses, there are microphones and cameras in smart gadgets that are connected to the internet, and many of them are always on.

In today's corporate market, having more and better data about potential consumers is considered a competitive advantage. Because of the value of all this data, tracking has proliferated, causing more corporations to collect more and more data on countless innocent people.

W3Techs found that 44.9% of all websites use cookies [2], and according to a recent survey commissioned by Zoho, nearly 64% of U.S. and Canadian business leaders surveyed said they know tracking happens on their sites, but they don't inform visitors [3].

Customer_data_abuse_Blog-tracking_942x531.jpgA privacy-first approach will combat tracking and data abuse

One of the reasons ‘remarketing’ is so popular with businesses is that many people are unaware of what it is. The ordinary internet user is absolutely unmindful that they are being stalked across the internet.

Remarketing is based on the premise that the more visible a brand is on the web, the more trustworthy that brand must be - more ad views equal better street cred. Consumers, on the other hand, believe that they are just seeing an ad around the web, not realizing they are being digitally followed.

Imagine you walk into your local cafe, take a look at the menu, and whilst you’re about to order you get distracted by a phone call and end up walking out and not ordering anything. The Barista pops their head around the door and says, “Hey, did you want that coffee?”

But say you couldn’t afford the coffee or you didn’t like the dirty cafe, you walk out and head home. Except this time, the Barista is following you home and waving a cup of coffee at you! Stalking or remarketing?

Even beyond personal data abuse, businesses are also questioning how secure their data is being stored or whether it’s being sold. Unbeknownst to many, adjunct surveillance is when one company monitors user behavior through another business tool, such as a video conferencing platform and other communication tools [4]. These corporations function as data-gathering surveillance operations, secretly incorporating data collection into their strategies.

Customer_data_abuse_Blog-video_942x531.jpgIs your business privacy-first?

Why hasn't anyone done something about it?

The cost of privacy violations to an individual or a corporation is difficult to calculate. Even more difficult is determining who is to blame. Are we all guilty of the ‘crime’? In other words, is the market just responding to our demand for ease, or are certain businesses operating dishonestly?

Corporations must learn the distinction between cybersecurity and data privacy - is there still confusion, or are some denying their non-ethical-and-somewhat-illegal practices for the sake of a better bottom line?

Despite these practices happening for a decade or more, they are largely unregulated. However, the exploitation of user data has become so evident and extreme that some countries and regulatory agencies have now intervened, or will do in the coming years.

We’ve seen the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and California’s Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA). Moreover, additional regulations are likely on the way.

Customer_data_abuse_Blog-GDPR_942x531.jpgPrivacy-first consumer protection legislation, such as GDPR, is what consumers need

Why spend marketing money on people who already left the coffee shop?


In general, it's far cheaper and more effective to optimize the experience of the (potential) customers who are in the ‘shop’, and you don’t actually need to abuse data to do this.

Utilizing behavioral experience data can say far more about the near-real-time behavior of your (potential) customers and gives you the chance to optimize the experience to make it more meaningful for the user, but based on their behavior if they are reluctantly finding the search area. Maybe they are lost and you can personalize the experience for that user type (persona) - so why let the user leave and spend money to get them to come back, which is the hardest thing you can do, vs. improving the experience when they are already there.

Zero-party data

Zero-party data is provided by customers voluntarily - directly from a company's activities and consumers, and therefore is also more accurate and relevant than second and third-party data.

One of the key benefits of zero-party data is its compliance with data privacy and consumer protection legislation, such as GDPR and CCPA. This builds confidence and clarity with consumers, governments, and policymakers, while also lowering the legal and ethical concerns connected with other sorts of data. Both consumers and businesses can be confident with zero-party data since they know where, why, and how firms obtain and use consumer information.


Privacy-first means that the technology you are using does not take its foundation in registering and abusing personal data by tracking specific individuals’ behavior and presence online, but instead the personal data must be protected and “isolated” so it is not possible to abuse the personal data.

 Customer_data_abuse_Blog-PrivacyFirst_942x531.jpgAesirX is leading the privacy-first revolution


Web2 was not designed based on today's requirements for privacy-first - cookies and tracking are a thing of the Web2 past.

Instead, Web3 is advancing privacy-first, and vice-versa, by developing the world wide web of the future. By including Web3, an additional layer of technology can be benefited from, one that utilizes blockchain to resolve security and data protection problems ensuring full privacy and compliance.

It’s time for privacy-first

Web3, GDPR, compliance, and privacy-first are changing the world, and if you are using MarTech which is based on abusing and tracking individuals’ personal data, be prepared to change out your solutions and MarTechstack because times are changing and there is no future for companies like this.

Privacy-first or ‘Privacy by Design’ needs to be the first requirement in any web development project.


We’re working tirelessly on AesirX - evolving Web2 with Web3 to enable the future of privacy-first on the world wide web!

Web2 + Web3 = AesirX Ltd.

447 Broadway, 2nd Floor Suite #1305, New York,

New York 10013, United States

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