Talk data to me. Or, First Party Data vs Second Party Data vs Third Party Data

I got lost down a rabbit hole with respect to data terminology. To get this all straight, here’s my take on the matter:

  1. First party data is what you collect and control. It’s the data that you grow yourself, or to use a produce analogy it’s your backyard garden.
  2. Second party data is what someone else collects and controls. Or said differently, someone else’s “first party data.” In the post-GDPR world, second party data is considered much more healthy than third party data. It’s like buying produce directly from the farm instead of through a supermarket or foodstore chain.
  3. Third party data is the stuff that’s aggregated and comes from gigantic data aggregators out there. This is the kind of run-of-the-mill data that anybody with a wad of cash can buy, and doesn’t provide an unfair advantage. In the post-GDPR world, third party data is under greater scrutiny — in other words it needs to use a produce analogy it needs to be sure that the data doesn’t include salmonella.

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