We believe that consumers have a right to the privacy of their own data

We also believe that how consumers act in the marketplace can and should be used to make sellers helpful and relevant.

Social scraping is creepy

When you, as a consumer, post on Facebook, add an image to Instagram, or give a job update on LinkedIn, you’re sharing social information about yourself with your friends and colleagues.

Telling your Twitter followers that you wish you were somewhere warm right now is not an invitation for airlines to offer you flights to Tahiti.

Coordinated commerce is helpful

The minute we enter a transactional relationship with a vendor, we’re no longer in the social realm: we’re doing business.

We’ve long benefited from coordinated commerce. It’s why you can buy wine next to your favorite grocery store and why we have shopping malls. When you buy a house, you’re going to need internet, and a postcard from Comcast is a helpful way to get started.

Using your behavior as a dollar-spending consumer to anticipate your next need is great business and, when done sensitively, incredibly convenient. Faraday licenses opt-in, permissioned consumer data from reputable vendors to assemble its Faraday Identity Graph, which powers predictions and analysis.

Non-proliferation is the best way forward

Just because your consumer data isn’t social doesn’t mean it’s not sensitive.

More and more companies are starting to recognize the benefit of data-driven practices. Unfortunately, the prevailing first step is to procure large consumer databases. Because not every company out there has perfect security, this has led to a spike in “data breaches” and other failures.

In reality, very few of these companies need full access to that much raw data. Instead, Faraday believes that companies who want access (us included!) should be required — by law — to meet strict regulations around security and privacy. Voluntary compliance is not enough.

Then, this small group of trusted stewards can use that data on behalf of other companies to perform analysis, make predictions, and so forth. Proliferation is the problem.

Long live privacy

Privacy is a complicated topic, and you may have a different interpretation; we respect that. Obviously we’re in the business of guessing what will appeal to you based on commercial behavior you’ve exhibited before. That said, we pledge to keep our algorithms out of your personal life.

And if any airlines are listening, we would, in fact, love some tickets to Tahiti. We promise not to think it’s creepy.