Libro – Data Considerations

When conceiving the Libro app, the group identified five major data considerations that pertain specifically to our platform.

Firstly, we considered data harvesting for recommendations within the application. Essentially, this is the ability to view and collate information of the texts a customer has been searching or buying. Subsequently, the application can then suggest similar texts, based on genre, author or title, and display them on the user’s home screen and personalised user page for their convenience. This ease of access may lead to an increase in purchases.

Secondly, we considered gathering data for targeted advertising by third parties. Similar to the first point, search and purchase history could be collated to provide a pattern for targeted advertising via external retailers. For example, an individual researching the history of the MK2 Volkswagen Golf, for example, may then see advertising that pertains to automobiles or Volkswagen specifically. Because this includes selling data to third parties, this would have to be included in the terms and conditions when a new user signs-up to Libro – something that is outlined in the Data Protection Act of 2018.

Thirdly, and elaborating on the previous point, data protection regulation is something that must be considered. The Data Protection Act was ‘developed to give protection and lay down rules about how data about people can be used’. We believe that a privacy policy, integrated into the terms and conditions of joining Libro, would explain to the consumer the different ways their data is circulated, both internally and externally.

Next, we consider the value of regional data that Libro has the capacity to collate. Whist it may not be our intention, said data could be valuable to researchers conducting regional research of literacy. As part of the sign-up process, and for the aid of delivery, it is mandatory that a user inputs their region. As such, it could be possible to analyse the amount of books purchased via the platform in different regions of the UK. Furthermore, the data could provide patterns in GCSE students, those studying the arts or maybe mature or disabled students, for example. The criteria that Libro‘s ‘personal profile’ includes means that data can be collated on behalf of numerous variants.

Lastly, and somewhat hypothetically, we consider the data of a digital library. Due to technological restraints and the incapacity to build our own designated software – Libro currently has to input details of each book by hand. Obviously, this is a long and painstaking process. As the app grows however, and with investment through our three-tiered membership scheme and advertising, it would allow us to harness an ISO-based directory. In essence, rather than uploading book specificities by hand, we can instead use the ISO of a text – a much quicker means of inputting data. An ISO or ISBN (International Standard Book Number) is a unique code given to any published book. Therefore, in a utopia of the future, we can simply input ISO numbers rather than the names, authors and other facets of textual information which we have to do in Libro‘s current infancy.

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