Motive Commerce Search is built on the main beam of Privacy respect, to wave the data protection flag for everyone to see -and to reflect on- the state of things. Don't take it wrong, our tool brings a pleasant search experience, an inspirational design, joyful shopping; but it all relies on a cornerstone.
To understand why Privacy is something to fight for, let's try to understand how the history of the internet brought us here, why we need to fight for Privacy in the first place.
The origins, as we know, are Tim Berners-Lee's effort to join existing technologies to create the Web. A tale on scientific progress, the internet as we know it today was built on collaboration, understanding, and the broadening of humanity's horizons.
A Collective Effort
It was the opportunity to decentralise human knowledge and make it available to everyone. The first actors were adamant about those principles and preached on the importance of not being evil but, behind that premise, things took their course.
Humankind had never before been more connected but, whilst offline communications are gone with the wind, the ones we embarked on online could now leave their traces. That information was regarded as invaluably precious to improve the understanding of humans... and information is everything.
It's a source of power and control, and it seemed like control gradually began to weigh heavier than a wish to not be evil. Our data became trading goods.
After all, in the relatively short history of the Web, the interactions it enabled have been stored and used to develop more precise tools, which will continue to exist based on that profiling of data and, once your data is collected and used, you never really get it back. There's already knowledge about you that cannot be unknown. Models that cannot be untrained.
The Switch to Data-Centrism
The internet thus started a new path based on the collection and analysis of people's data. The main actors in the industry started to see data science not as a way to draw expectations, but as the single source of truth in paving their future. The conception of data automation started to be regarded as unquestionable (is it really?), and as a result, the use of people's data was the main resource upon which they relayed.
Our lives began to be read by machines to spot trends by both private and public enterprises, aiming to digest that data and use it towards what's more beneficial to them, or maybe what they think is the good thing to do, what's not evil.
Back to the Roots
In this scenario, supranational entities and regulating bodies started to focus on the topic of Privacy, and figures of such relevance to this topic, as the aforementioned Tim Berners-Lee, started to embark on rethinking the web and the managing of people's data. The European Union's GDPR also made its debut, enabling member states to start to act on giants that don't respect these agreements.
Privacy becomes an actual body of interest for the general public and it evolves from a cookie acceptance pop-up to a vast sort of reality extending from control over personal information to the empowering of trustworthy data relationships.
It is at this point that big companies start to position themselves as advocates for data protection and escape from being drawn as totalitarian sort of entities that store people's private data for obscure purposes.
They insist on the anonymisation of data, how what they store about us is an ID rather than our personal information. But people start to see that an ID is nothing but an array of numbers or letters that, in the end, do store all of our information, and process it opaquely very far away from our homes.
A Motive for Change
That's why actors like Empathy and now Motive become relevant and have an impact on the dynamics of data usage: they are private by design. They offer a polished, purposeful tool that, at the same time, is respectful of people's data from the very origin.
They are part of a social change demanded by citizens and regulatory bodies alike, to escape from an obscure web of data storage to the original Web that was collectively created as a place for understanding and knowledge exchange.
For instance, when shoppers interact with the shop's search bar, their data is not being stored anywhere but locally. No one is sharing that data. They can see how they have recent searches just on the gadget they're using, and it's not getting associated with them.
The data you see in the Analytics is also not associated with any ID, nor shared anywhere. It's just a collectivised image of the different queries your shop has received through your Search bar. Just like a shop assistant saying in an offline shop: "People has been asking about pink dresses lately".
That's it, no profiling anywhere.
Being transparent by design is not only the answer to current demands. It's the ethical way to assimilate the principles that humankind has defined as cornerstones in the offline world to this extension of it that is the internet.