30 second summary:
- Max Kirby, Director Digital Identity & Cloud Solutions at Publicis Sapient, explains the role of conversational data in consumer privacy
- Conversation platforms try to understand the consumer’s intent by using oral or written communication from a user through smart speakers and chatbots
- Asynchronous messaging or “asynchronous messaging” refers to people who use messaging platforms to communicate with one another without having both parties involved in the conversation at the same time
- Kirby predicts that asynchronous messaging through conversational platforms and chatbots will also allow consumers to better control their data and privacy settings.
Conversational interactions and asynchronous messaging can help solve privacy issues that arise when authenticated users provide information through conversational chatbots, said Max Kirby, director of digital identity and cloud solutions at Publicis Sapient.
Corporations are constantly collecting data on individuals to fuel surveillance capitalism. Until recently, this data collection was done discreetly (e.g. cookies) or collected in forms that were filled in to provide a benefit or service (e.g. create an account).
“Conversational technologies are increasingly being used to make data collection easier,” says Kirby.
The importance of intent
Conversation platforms try to understand the consumer’s intent by using oral or written communication from a user through smart speakers and chatbots. The technology goes beyond one-off interactions like search queries and creates a conversational context that can help determine what the customer wants.
“Customer systems are almost always better at doing their job when they understand intent, but technology, user behavior, and the Internet ecosystem need to evolve together, and we are still at the early stages of using conversational data to determine intent,” says Kirby “That’s why we’re just seeing human-machine hybrids crossing the gap.”
Interacting with a machine can look like talking to a person, but it’s fundamentally different. People don’t have perfect, limitless memories.
“The fact that computers don’t forget when they’re not told to, makes the problem more complex,” says Kirby.
This is the crux of the problem when it comes to privacy. The technology used to interact with businesses is constantly watching. People’s digital interactions are always recorded. The more people interact, the more attention they will attract. One possible solution to this problem is asynchronous messaging.
How asynchronous messaging can solve the privacy problem
Asynchronous messaging or “asynchronous messaging” refers to two parties who contact each other without both parties having to be active in the conversation at the same time.
With asynchronous messaging, a conversation doesn’t necessarily have a well-defined ending. It starts with the first message sent. From there, conversation participants can pause and resume the conversation and hop on and off as needed.
The conversation takes place when it needs to take place, just like when you walk into a store and are assisted by a salesperson, but then shop on your own until you need help again.
“From a privacy perspective, asynchronous messaging means that you as a company don’t have to collect all of the data about me in advance,” says Kirby.
“When I’m in a conversational experience, you can wait and just start with a greeting instead of asking me to provide personal information before the moment you need it. If I don’t want to give my name, I can move on to the next step in the conversation and you’ll have learned that I may have privacy sensitivities. A one-time form with a mandatory field cannot do this. “
Asynchronous messaging uses micro-moments to retrieve and use relevant information from consumers exactly when it is important.
An example of this is how conversational commerce systems use messaging to move consumers through the shopping funnel and ask relevant questions at appropriate times (for example, “So you’re interested in buying boots. Can you tell me your shoe size?” ? “).
“If a conversation isn’t about a shape and I know someone is coming back digitally on the shelves looking for shoes my size, I realize they need this information to help me. That means I’m much more willing to give, and I can also withdraw it if it’s not relevant. “
The future of data control is in conversation
According to Kirby, conversation platforms could allow consumers to have much better control over their data and privacy preferences.
“The experience we are waiting for could start with, ‘Are you giving us permission to know your shoe size? Yes or no.’ If I say yes, it could mean, “How long can I remember this information?” or ‘Would you like to withdraw this information at the end of our conversation?’ The answer would then trigger the essential GDPR or CCPA opt-out. “
This approach holds promise, as research shows that most people don’t know much about how to manage their data, but have less understanding of how to delete it. This is partly because companies do not want to make it easy, and partly because the subject is difficult to understand.
Conversational interactions, which provide consumers with an easy and natural way to erase their data, can make the web much more human from a memory standpoint. It forces the web to forget.
This is a look at what privacy controls might look like in the future. Currently, however, Kirby realizes that the use of asynchronous messaging is a critical obstacle to data protection management – authentication.
The problem with authentication (and a possible conversational solution)
Oauth2 authenticates a user by allowing them to log into a website or app through third-party servers such as Google, Facebook or Amazon. This is often more secure than homemade identity management. But it also puts the “keys” of the web in the hands of the big platforms.
“The major platforms authenticate the web,” says Kirby. “Conversational technologies work for data protection management when you speak directly to the owner of the data. If you do this through an “agent” -like relationship where a platform overhears the conversation, the privacy benefits can be delayed or invalidated. “
According to Kirby, conversational technology offers a potential solution to the authentication / privacy dilemma as it could be adopted by the same platforms to allow control over their data as well.
“From a UX perspective, deleting your data is one of the least likely happenings right now, as it is almost impossible to do by accident. The shift towards conversation as opposed to websites and clicks is going to put pressure on companies to make it easier for customers to take control of what they do with their data. With conversational technology, customers may be able to see how easy it is to control their own data by simply asking a chatbot to delete it, and they expect companies to make the process as user-friendly as possible. “