Zero-Party Data is currently a busted flush. The original intent has been diluted and it’s come to mean a tactical mix of website polls, gamified quizzes and even aggregated customer reviews. These all miss the huge dormant value for brands and for customers. How do we fix it?  First, Zero-Party Data needs to include rich, verified behavioural data, Secondly, for behavioural Zero-Party Data to be shared, it must first be held as Zero-Shared Data. For brands with big customer bases, this delivers the powerful new paradigm that Zero-Party Data initially promised.  

What is Zero-Party Data?

“Zero-Party Data refers to [any] data which a customer intentionally and proactively shares with a brand”  

Forrester Research, 2019

Forrester coined the term Zero-Party Data in 2019 – while many marketers find the term confusing (“better data with zero data?!? 🤷🏻‍♂️”) – it seeks to correct the fact that consumer businesses and customer technology vendors had forgotten a critical constituent in their data strategy – consent from the customer!

Note: Zero-Party Data is *not* First-Party Data. First-Party Data is information implicitly collected from customers through their interactions with a brand (e.g. purchases), while Zero-Party Data is explicitly and voluntarily provided by customers to a brand (e.g. preference for complimentary brands). Behavioural Zero-Party Data can include data from thousands of sources.

What is Zero-Shared Data? 

“For data to be shared, it first has to be held” – DataSapien 

“Zero-Shared Data” refers to a broad array of data types that an individual may gather and store exclusively on their own device (e.g. a mobile), without it being shared with any external parties, including the app provider themselves. This data remains entirely secure, private and under the user’s control, creating a private reservoir of information that is only accessible to the device owner.  
At DataSapien, we have developed an innovative solution with our new SDK (Software Development Kit), which integrates into existing branded mobile applications. The starter data can be seeded by the app provider (brand) with existing customer data, and it is then added to by the customer to enable them (and the brand) to get jobs done. 

How Does Zero-Shared Data Work? 

So, how does Zero-Share Data align with the other data categories: Zero-Party, First-Party, Second-Party and Third-Party Data?    

Defining the Updated Spectrum of Data Management 

  1. Zero-Shared Data: Data that is held privately by the customer in their personal wallet, with absolutely no consent given to share it anywhere else, ensuring it remains confidential and secure. The customer may allow local personal algorithms to process the data locally to create new value for themselves and for the brand (all with progressive consent). 
  1. Zero-Party Data: Data for which customers have given explicit consent, resulting in zero consent ‘hops’. This data is used directly by the brand with full and clear permission from the user. The more powerful form of Zero-Party data is Behavioural Zero-Party Data. 
  1. First-Party Data: Data collected implicitly through direct interactions with services, involving one consent ‘hop’. There is often no explicit consent for sharing this data with external parties. 
  1. Second-Party Data: Data that involves two consent ‘hops’ and is obtained from a partner of the service used by the customer under agreed terms.  
  1. Third-Party Data: This data involves three consent ‘hops’ and is often acquired from external sources, implicitly without clear customer consent, via less transparent means. 

As the number of ‘hops’ from explicit consent increases, the risk profile of the data multiplies exponentially. Dangers include security, regulation, quality, relevance, service and reputational risks – ultimately leading to customer withdrawal of consent and data insight interactions with the brand. 

The Benefits of Zero-Shared Data 

Adopting the “Zero-Shared Data” model allows brands to access insights from a private pool of data controlled solely by the user. This approach not only maximises privacy by ensuring that sensitive data doesn’t need to leave the device. It also allows for the creation of far richer personalised services, which we term “omni-personalised” services. As customer trust grows through positive data sharing experiences, brands may earn the permission to omni-personalise in new adjacent areas of customer’s lives always with customer control: 

  • Enhanced Privacy and Security: By keeping sensitive data and algorithms localised to the user’s device, privacy is inherently safeguarded, dramatically reducing potential breaches.  
  • Omni-Personalised Services: On-device data intelligence taps into the most relevant user information, providing a level of personalisation that is timely, deeply contextual and richly detailed.  
  • Trust and Transparency: This model nurtures a transparent environment where users are confident that their data is not being misused or mishandled. Trust is the foundation of Customer Experience. 

Advantages for Brands and Consumers 

Consumers benefit from the utmost respect for their privacy under the “Zero Shared Data” model, enjoying omni-personalised experiences without the anxiety of data misuse and abuse.  

For brands, this model builds consumer trust and ensures compliance with stringent data protection laws, now and in the future. The most sensitive personally identifiable information (PII) remains confidential, held on the customer’s device. Simultaneously, brands benefit from direct access to consented, high-quality, up-to-date insights from consumers, enabling more effective, engaging personalisation and fulfilment strategies. 

Looking Forward in Data Management 

Introducing “Zero-Shared Data” marks a major advance toward ethical and consumer-friendly data practices. It unlocks a shift toward improving data privacy and empowers consumers to maintain control over their personal information. 

This model offers a flexible and innovative solution applicable across various industries, allowing businesses to modernise how they collect and utilise consumer data. By adopting our SDK for existing customer apps, brands can seamlessly integrate this model, setting a new standard in personalised, consent-based interactions. 

Zero-Shared Data and Building a Sustainable Digital Future  

“Zero-Shared Data” is not just a technological innovation; it’s a commitment to upholding ethical data practices that benefit all of the ‘good actors’ in the human data ecosystem. Respect customers, deliver the ‘jobs’ they hire the brand to do and earn long-term customer trust. This has always been a fundamental foundation of good business practice and it’s about time we started to make this the norm in our digital century.  

At DataSapien, we encourage companies, marketers and developers to join this movement, contributing to a future where data empowers individuals without compromising their privacy. If we are to realise a thriving, human-centric and high-value digital society, personal agency of personal data – and it’s AI outputs – will be paramount.  

Zero Shared Data
DALL.E Zero Shared Data