Access and Feeds

Internet of Behaviors (IoB): Streamlining User Interactions but at the Expense of Privacy

By Dick Weisinger

The Internet of Behavior (IoB) extends the concept of connecting many devices to the Internet (Internet of Things) to trying to analyze and understand the effect of connected devices on the people. It is a term created by Gartner.

We interact increasingly with devices and apps like phones, social media, wearables, PCs, connected home devices, and other electronics. Gartner refers to the stream of data created from these interactions as “digital dust”. The human interaction data collected is primarily used for analyzing buying patterns and demographic interests. At this point, because IoB’s primary objective is to aid with marketing, IoB is sometimes also referred to as the ‘Internet of Business‘.

Some of the goals of IoB are to:

  • Develop a multi-platform profile of the consumer
  • Eliminate the need for customer surveys.
  • Study and observe how users interact across multiple technology platforms
  • Get more detailed information about consumer buying habits
  • Provide more targeted communication and feedback to and from the user

Daryl Plummer, distinguished vice president and Gartner Fellow, said that “with IoB, value judgements are applied to behavioral events to create a desired state of behavior. Within Western countries, the most notable example of a usage-based and behaviorally based business model is in property and casualty insurance. Over the long term, it is likely that almost everyone living in a modern society will be exposed to some form of IoB that melds with cultural and legal norms of our existing predigital societies.”

The main benefit to the end user/consumer of IoB is information is more targeted/relevant and streamlined. The downside is that there are questions about privacy, the intrusiveness of the technology, and how the data that is collected and aggregated is used. Gartner said that “much of the scope and execution of an IoB will depend on local privacy laws, which may affect how data can be used and in what way.”

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