4 min read

Understand data privacy in Empathy Platform

Delivering privacy-minded commerce search

For the last few years, shoppers have switched over to online shopping. During this time, shoppers have started to question the (mis)use of their personal data without real consent or any transparency by online commerce stores. Undoubtedly, creating and sustaining reliable, inspiring, and joyful shopping experiences requires access to shoppers’ data, but it shouldn't exceed the limits of ethical search.

First-party data practices have led to a growing distrust in commerce technology overall. Shoppers are no longer satisfied with commerce stores that do not give them control over their own data. It’s not that shoppers are reluctant to share personal information, rather they just want to know and understand what will be done with it and the benefits of sharing it. Shoppers now are willing to share their data only with those commerce stores that they do really trust and that let them regain control over their information. Then, how can brand trust be (re)built when it comes to shopper privacy?

Empathy Platform approaches privacy as a human right, designing commerce search experiences that respect a shopper’s online privacy with offline standards.

Empathy Platform built with privacy by design

Empathy Platform provides the solution for ethical commerce search, based on a trust-first vision, so that shoppers can trust your commerce store without feeling being tracked or even spied on. Empathy Platform leverages respectful collective events to build contextualized search experiences without storing any personal data.

To enrich the shopping experience while placing your shoppers’ privacy first, Empathy Platform fosters an ethical and responsible use of shoppers’ data in all stages of search data flow: capture, process, tuning, and persistence.

Data capture

Privacy-first event data tracking
To build contextual commerce search experiences, you need to establish first shopping preferences and infer shopper intent. Empathy Platform Tagging microservices allow you to capture different interactions in your commerce store using aggregate events. The Tagging microservices examine aggregate shopping practices & patterns and identify collective shopping behavior, rather than individual shopper actions, just by reading and not storing any personal data at all. No user IDs, no location data, no images, no voice, no device or browser information are stored, yet shoppers still get contextualization.

Understand why tagging matters
Data capture

Empathy Platform doesn’t support image or voice search. Both image and voice search compromise compliance requirements as images and voices may contain sensitive or identifiable information.

Data processing

Conversational and intent services based on shoppers’ privacy
Empathy Platform search is about understanding shoppers' intent. Create the perfect conversation between your commerce store and your shoppers, just like a personal shopper assistant would do in the offline world, by using the Empathy Platform's intent and contextual microservices. They use personal data-free aggregate information from your commerce store to create meaningful search and discovery experiences.

Explore the intent microservices
Data processing

Aggregate data is also processed and used for data visualization and analytics. The search insights and statistics you access through the Empathy Platform Playboard are also based on read-only data from collective shopping patterns.

Data tuning

Semantic models trained with domain-based anonymous datasets
In a semantic-based search, Empathy Platform leverages semantical foundation models trained with query-click and query-product combinations data. The data is captured from anonymous collective shopping behavior by the Tagging microservices. The proprietary datasets used for training the semantic models are focused on a specific business domain, which guarantees shoppers' data consent integrity and privacy. Thus, Empathy Platform semantic search pursuits privacy-first and explainable and controllable semantic models.

Understand why semantic search matters
Data tuning

Semantic models trained with domain-based datasets are the axis of the Empathy Platform semantic search approach. Protecting privacy and integrity of data retrieved from shoppers' behavior is the main concern when using the proprietary tuning datasets.

Data persistence

Contextualized results based on privacy-first and wisdom of the crowd
To deliver relevant, privacy-by-design product results and search suggestions, Empathy Platform uses truly anonymized behavior patterns (wisdom of the crowd) and local-first storage, where data stays with the shopper’s device.
Customize the discovery experience by improving the positioning of product results with Empathy Platform Contextualize microservice, which elevates product relevancy but doesn't store any individual profiling data.

Discover the Contextualize microservice
Data persistence

For 1:1 personalization, Empathy Platform is in constant innovation, exploring decentralized uses of personal data where shoppers can decide what, how, and when to share or interact with the commerce store. A combination of practices based on local-first, user PODs (opens new window), and read-only information allows commerce search to shift from invasive tracking-based personalization to personalization based on purposeful sharing.

Privacy compliance

Empathy fully complies with all major privacy laws, including General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA).

Privacy culture

Privacy, compliance, ethics, and transparency are an essential part of Empathy’s culture. Do you want to discover more about Empathy’s commitment to trust and privacy?

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