Since some years, device tracking technologies flood not only but also the aviation market to get insights about consumers. Whether you are visiting a shopping centre, your supermarket or an airport flying from: if you carry on your smartphone, your data is used to get insights about your behaviour. This information is normally used for analytics and optimization of offerings & services. Supermarkets are testing their campains by getting insights how successful certain product placements are. In the aviation world mostly airports try to evaluate dwell & waiting times at certain check-points. Now this could be over soon!
During May this year, after quite a long working period over years, the new directive for data privacy & protection (GDPR) EU2016/679 passed the European commission. This law which intense to protect the private user data in the digital world, could change the before mentioned use cases dramatically. The industry has two years’ time until May 2018 to adopt to these new regulations and requirements to ensure the data privacy laws.
Let me give a very brief overview of the most important changes which will affect the aviation industry:
No Device Allocation / Tracking without permission
Concerning the aspect of device allocation with the intension to re-use for consumer analytics, this won´t be allowed, even in an anonymised way, without the explicit permission of the user beforehand. This means that every user must be informed via text message about the tracking request, with the option to decline (Opt-out). This will create a high effort to ensure this pre-notification and additionally will probably reduce also the penetration rate as it is obvious that some users won´t allow to use their allocation data for any other purpose than their own location services.
A very important change is that this directive hast to be applied by all companies offering services in the EU. Instead of the past situation, where the county member´s data privacy legislation came into account where your corresponding headquarters was allocated in the EU, this will create stability in terms of a unique regulation for all county member states. In addition, every company from the U.S. to China (or anywhere else) must apply this data privacy rules when offering services in the EU. This is a huge advantage to ensure equal competition with European companies.
Higher penalty fees
Also the fines for violation against this regulation have been increased within this directive with up to 4% of the yearly revenue or a maximum of 20 Million Euro. If you wondered until now why you should pay attention to this regulation, now you know. These fines could extremely harm your business either you are a small vendor, or a large company group. The commission also makes no difference here whether the violation is caused by the head company or any subsidary of a company group.
How to react?
As this EU law came into force in May this year, all respective companies / institutions have two years’ transition phase until May 2018 to apply these rules. The EU commission suggest for bigger companies also to ensure internal data privacy officers taking care for the appliance. Specifically for airports it is quite manageable, as they rarely obtain data from passengers directly with some security relevant exceptions. Just in case you already have installed, or are thinking about, passenger tracking technologies to measure waiting times at security, or to get insights about retail behaviour: be careful. The concept to use the passenger´s device to do so won´t be a practical way in the future.
If you decide for Amorph Systems, all our solutions are compliant with the upcoming laws and regulations. With our unique forecasting technology, we make sure that you won´t lose analytic capabilities and predictive insights about passengers and consumers and all this without tracking them. You want to know how? Then just ask us under firstname.lastname@example.org and we will be happy to assist you.