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[Blog Post] “How to Compete in a Post-GDPR World” – A Discussion with Harvard’s John Deighton

This blog post was written for and published on The Marketing Journal.

The EU General Protection Data Regulation (GDPR) recently celebrated its first birthday, and similar legislation like the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) is popping up in the United States. With privacy on everyone’s minds, John Deighton, Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School, and Frank Grillo, CMO, sat down to discuss where it’s headed—and what it means for business.

JD (John Deighton): At each moment of our lives, we stand somewhere on a spectrum between anonymity and identity. The position we each take on that spectrum is our level of privacy—it’s the needle on the meter that shows where we are in a particular social context. At one end, we keep our data to ourselves and move about anonymously. We can deal with people, but they can’t go after us later if they want to, and they wouldn’t recognize us if they met us by chance. At the other end of the spectrum we deliberately cultivate a persona. We claim an identity fully and publicly and exploit the benefits of a reputation.

In today’s world, there aren’t many people who actually pursue anonymity. Those that do often do so for reasons that involve the law. The rest of us find some sort of value in sharing information about ourselves with others.


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