Sfeerbeeld gezicht vrouw met binaire code
  • Published on Thursday, September 1, 2016

Identify visitor behavior ?!

A lot of software is available for collecting visitor information and showing personalized content. A number of content management systems have also specialized in this: gathering information and presenting a unique internet experience. The presented website resembles the body of the visitor. Ideal. Or not?

What is allowed versus what is sensible?

Whoever uses the internet does not get involved. Data is processed, stored and shared. Necessary data, for communication between devices, but also unnecessary data are requested and stored on servers unsolicited. The limit of what is permissible is searched and exceeded. That is why privacy watchkeeping checks whether organizations comply with the law. But who checks whether the use of the collected information fits the perception and acceptance of the customer?

Carefully handle sensitive information

From commercial organizations, such as an online department store, you expect that - to a certain extent - information is used to make you a good offer. We do not expect this from a municipality, healthcare institution or other private institution. When you look up information about a disease, disorder or benefit, you expect a certain degree of anonymity. What if it turns out that a profile is built around your search and click behavior on these topics and that this is shared with external parties? An undesirable situation, where many organizations with a (semi) public task do not want to join. Recently, free web functionality such as Addthis and Sharethis was refused from hospital sites, because these profiles build up around the visitor behavior with ad revenue as goal.

Measuring is knowing

Thanks to digital developments, more information is available than ever before. By analyzing this information, you as a marketer or web manager can optimize and personalize the online experience of customers. We can analyze why an image yields more clicks than another. And we can show whether there are differences in click behavior based on, for example, gender or age. By applying this knowledge in practice, you can create profiles of your site visitor as a site administrator and adapt your website ad hoc to the profile of the visitor. But the question remains: do I foresee in the customer's wishes?

Privacy under pressure?

Software with which visitor behavior is mapped does not always share the collected information with external parties. For example, with free software such as google analytics, sharing of collected information can be disabled. You can even expect that this information will never be shared with paid software. But what guarantees does the visitor have of a site? If he notices that the displayed content has a lot of common ground with previously looked up information or self-provided information, it can quickly feel affected in its privacy.

The internet experience with a secure feeling

Gathering information for optimizing services can be a useful goal. But processing information in a personal internet experience is a bridge too far for many organizations that process personal and sensitive information. That is why Seneca keeps a close eye on developments in this area, but does not pioneer the collection of personal data or the personalization of sites based on visitor behavior. What do we do? The anonymous measurement of the site visit, the click behavior and the mapping of the editor's contributions. This gives you insight into the use and experience of your content and the effort needed to keep this content up to date. And with whom we share the information? With nobody. All collected statistics are only accessible to the site administrator. Exactly as the visitor expects.


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