Private data and data security have been sensitive topics for many years, especially since the boom of online business. The data which users give away for free on the internet has transformed into gold for businesses in different industries with gaming being one of them.
Casinos, banks, telecom companies, and other corporations have been collecting private data for a very long time. Unfortunately, the gambling companies and financial institutions have always been a target for criminals both in movies, online and in real life. Therefore, proven online casino have made data security their priority and have put great efforts to establish policies that protect their users.
But how do you know which companies are safe? How to protect your data? These and many other questions regarding data security remain without a clear answer. In the article below we will give answers to some of the hottest questions regarding your data.
How Do Big Companies Collect Personal Data?
Let’s take a look at the reasons why big companies collect data and what they do with it.
Big companies collect, analyze and store large amounts of data daily. From simple details like age and name to complex behavioral patterns, the data is collected and used in different ways.
Companies have data collection strategies in place which are a combination of several methods for capturing, and processing different types of data. We can name three main methods: tracking, asking customers directly, and using third-party sources. Some of these methods can be quite sophisticated.
Big companies track users with smart technologies and create personalized data profiles. These profiles contain different information for example how many times a user has contacted the support team, what pages on the site they have visited, what is the device they are browsing on, etc.
Naturally, the next question that comes to mind is why do they collect the data and what do they do with it?
Generally, online casinos and other businesses use the captured data to draw insights on a very personalized level.
They use these insights to:
- Open an account and process payments
- Improve the experience and website functionality by understanding customers’ needs better
- Improve marketing by looking at how users respond to advertising messages and campaigns. Also, to assess which platforms work best in terms of advertising etc.
- Improve their products or services
- Make a profit. Data brokers are companies that buy and sell data. A lot of businesses do this to bring more revenue. The more valuable the data, the higher the potential earnings.
- Secure existing information. Some companies are using smart and sophisticated technology to marry different pieces of data and get even more personalized results for authorization and security purposes. For example, matching voice and face recognition.
- Meet legal requirements. Casinos and other big companies gather data also because they are required to do so by the regulator that has issued their license.
Why Do Companies Sell Private Data?
Companies use sophisticated and complex technology to collect data and match it to create different profiles. Loyalty clubs, credit cards, telecom contracts, bank accounts, and payment transactions are data points used by the companies to collect both personal and non-personal data such as names, addresses, payment information, spending patterns, and more.
What's more, they can cross-match and use information from many different sources in a highly technical and sophisticated way. Casinos have been doing this for longer than anyone else, so they have become the masters of mining complex data at scale. This way, online gambling companies end up with a vast amount of sensitive information and without a doubt; this requires data protection rights and a high level of security.
This means that casinos own unique and very valuable data. Unlike other companies, gambling companies do not sell or consolidate their data mainly because of two reasons: it is regulated and also because it is more valuable to keep it and use it for their own purposes. However, gaming and sports betting companies are buying and sharing data with partners like the NHL.
A recent deal that was spread by the media is the partnership between NHL and Las Vegas-based resort MGM. The NHL sold data to the casino with plans to use it to create special offers for gamblers. This deal gave MGM a chance to offer unique bets and the NHL – a new revenue stream. Such deals are not something new for both leagues and casinos.
Telecommunication companies are other big data collectors. A recent investigation on the data practices of the telecommunication industry was recently discussed in the Senate. The investigation found that T-mobile along with two other big telecommunication companies AT&T and Sprint have been selling location data of customers to third parties. Experts in cybersecurity claim that selling this data can be detrimental to users. According to the experts, the data is sold to anyone who pays for it including data brokers, private detectives, or stalkers.
Banks and financial institutions own very valuable and sensitive information as well. American Express has found a way to use data as an alternative revenue source. AmEX has partnered with advertisers to send online and mail offers to their cardholders. American Express has also used segments of their audiences for online targeting. However, the financial institution hasn't revealed its partners and has stressed that the data segments are not designed to target their cardholders directly. Other players on the market like MasterCard, Wells Fargo, and Chase have allegedly shared data like spending habits and transactions to third parties for advertising and targeting purposes.
How Can Users Protect Their Data?
Security breaches and data leaks are not uncommon. They have happened many times and have always caused a scandal. The worst about these is that anyone who gets access to the leaked databases would know sensitive information.
And although there are more and more policies protecting users (like GDPR for example), the question if they are enough and can users rely on them for protection remains.
Here is what you can do to protect your data:
- Research online about the company and previous data leaks or security breaches
- Under GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) users can access the information companies have collected and stored. Users can also contact support and ask for it to be deleted.
- Install up to date security software on all devices
- Think twice before clicking on any pop-ups or attachments on a company website
- Passwords should be long and secure, don’t share them and change them often
- Make use of multi-factor authentication
Do big companies hit the jackpot with private data? The answer is that most of them certainly do. Data is a precious commodity nowadays and it will continue to be so in the near future. So, we should be informed about our rights and how our data is collected, stored, and used.
As for the casinos, if you want to enjoy the game without worrying about what happens with your private data, trust proven online casinos only.