Companies should not \u2018cross the creep line\u2019 when attempting to personalise and target their marketing warns Michael Bromley, IAG\u2019s group head of digital and creative services. Speaking at the CIO Summit in Sydney last week, Bromley predicted that individuals would eventually gain greater control of their personal information and any business using it without permission, or trying to draw it from Big Data, would see their actions \u2018backfire\u2019. \u201cThe point is to be spooky and not creepy. If you\u2019re creepy you\u2019ve crossed the line. How do you cross the line? You don\u2019t get permission,\u201d he said. \u201cBig Data is trying to be creepy: \u2018We want to get this information about you, without you knowing. And we want to use it against you.\u2019 That\u2019s going to backfire over time.\u201dIAG takes a firm line on the ethical use of customer information and will only partner with companies who share this outlook.The creep factor Bromley, who has worked in digital leadership roles for the likes of AOL, Blackberry, Telstra and NBNCo, said that companies should aim for \u2018anticipatory marketing\u2019 and argued that millennials were quick to ignore or block marketing that didn\u2019t \u2018know them\u2019. \u201cIt takes a microsecond,\u201d he said. To achieve this hyper-personalised marketing, however, businesses will need access to an individuals\u2019 data, and that requires permission. \u201cMoving from Big Data to little data, knowing that knowing everything there is to know about somebody is only possible, at that micro level, with their permission,\u201d he said. \u201cAnticipatory marketing only happens if you\u2019ve got [an individual\u2019s] digital shadow. If you understand the total hyper-personalised experience for that person. And you\u2019ve got permission to get that. Because what you want to do is avoid the creep factor. \u201cBecause they\u2019re going to own that shadow, they\u2019re going to control who it\u2019s disseminated to, and they\u2019re going to be fickle about it. So buy, trade for it, capture it somehow, but do it with permission. Because if not you\u2019ve crossed the creep line.\u201dTaking ownership An individuals\u2019 ownership of their data, and their ability to control who has access to it would be driven by legislation, Bromley said. \u201cPrivacy groups are already working towards that. Legislation is already being enacted in parts of Europe. It will come in some form or another. \u201cLegislation will at some point start to drive a flipping of that market where you need permission to start to utilise somebody\u2019s personal data.\u201d IAG, undertook a major shake-up of its organisational structure and leadership team in a bid to become a customer-led and data-driven organisation in December.