Services that use people’s social, geographic and mobile contexts – to provide them with (targeted) ads, offers and messages – are becoming increasingly numerous. Yet, consumers are still reluctant to exploit these apps’ full potential, not knowing what their data might be used for. Within this context, SoLoMIDEM investigated the development of a platform that enables highlytargeted communication – using big data analytics – while putting users’ confidence and trust center stage. It allows third parties to easily hook into the platform to reach out to customers that are interested in their offerings – but gives end users full control over their (location) identity and privacy settings.
Privacy (and dealing with user data in an appropriate, respectful manner) was a clear focus point for the SoLoMIDEM project team: application providers should only have access to those user data that are relevant for their specific apps and that users are willing to share.
To realize that careful balance between (location) identity and privacy protection on the one hand, and the creation of a targeted communication platform on the other hand, SoLoMIDEM’s research effort was organized along three main axes:
- Socio-economic: can we define different user categories, and identify their perceived value of privacy (i.e. their privacy boundaries)?
- Legal: how about the related privacy legislation?
- Technical: which are the various building blocks that are required to construct the SoLoMIDEM platform; a platform allowing application providers to offer new and more accurate targeted services – thereby enabling optimal access to and exploitability and manageability of users’ (big) data – while focusing heavily on identity management and location privacy?
- “Own your own data”: a unique (location) privacy and identity management framework controlled by the user
- The SoLoMIDEM research results are already being brought to the market
- Laying the foundation for the Antwerp ‘City of Things’