Many Belgians are unfazed at sharing certain personal information when there is an exclusive concert up for grabs, an experiment conducted in Brussels has found.
This idea was tested by the Data Protection Authority (APD), who teamed up with Belgian musician Ozark Henry to show citizens that they should be wary when giving their personal information.
The APD and the artist conducted an experiment with the public at large through his concert on Tuesday night. To win one of the 200 seats in front of an Ozark Henry exclusive 3D showcase in Brussels, fans were asked to provide some unnecessary personal information: mobile number, favourite musical genre or the last concert they attended.
“More than 1,100 participants filled out the form. None of them contacted the organiser to find out what would be done with their information,” the Authority commented.
“We share a lot of information about ourselves without wondering whether that is a sensible thing to do. You are often asked for your gender, marital status or even your nationality, whereas this information is not always necessary to achieve the end for which it is being obtained. Providing personal information must not be merely matter of form, but a considered choice,” Charlotte Dereppe, the director of APD’s front-line service, explained.
Returning to the particular case of the music concert, she continued: “Why would a concert organiser need to know your favourite style of music? In principle, to build profiles and reach out not only to you but also to others with targeted messages. Without us realising it, organisations collect data here and there enabling them to understand who we are and what we like. Based on a musical preference and other information, these organisations can even at times infer our age or our political preferences.”
The Brussels Times