Is it possible to personalise content on an app without exposing personal data?

By Covatic

2019 has been the year of transparency and the call to put the consumer first is resonating throughout every part of the digital marketing industry. As an individual, we often don’t know how our data is being used and this is at the heart of the issue. Consumers are demanding increased control and a better understanding of how their data is used.  For brands and media owners, it is increasingly competitive to engage with users and win the battle for their attention against the new giants of Amazon, Apple and Netflix. 

End users spend 90% of their mobile time on their apps which means that ensuring that your app is actively engaged with in a meaningful way is top priority for media owners, brands and broadcasters alike.

Historically, we have based audience targeting on group segments and built behavioural journeys based on the audience as a whole, rather than on the individual. Concerns over privacy has led many companies to move away from personalisation for fear of legal action over compliance. The good news is that personalisation and privacy is achievable and the two can actually co-exist in a way that heralds a new era of targeting and personalisation. 

For many, GDPR has made it harder to track and engage on a 1-2-1 basis with the individual user unless they have given their complicit consent. It has therefore never been more essential for brands to find a solution which delivers personalisation in a truly compliant way.   Our product allows companies to deliver the best consumer experience with minimal user effort whilst also ticking the box of GDPR. We can also do it in a private way and enable a better experience by understanding the users context; leaving Personally Identifiable Data (PII)  secure on their mobile i.e. using a Private by Design architecture. Understanding and predicting physical content is key to creating engaging, personal experiences and we do this on-device without exposing PII. We also believe that to achieve effortless viewing, we do not need to compromise consumers’ privacy.


Let’s get personal

Serendipity by Covatic is a mobile software development kit (SDK) for iOS and Android which builds a unique engagement schedule and profile for the user by learning and predicting an individual’s activities, behaviours and preferences. When the user downloads an app, they will be asked for permissions on location and activity. These permissions are then given to  Serendipity, which is integrated into the host app and immediately starts to learn about the users patterns of behaviour.  We build up a picture of the physical context of the user e.g. what are they physically doing when using the app but just as important, is what they are doing when they are not using the app. This allows us to predict the exact times during the day when it is the best and most relevant time to engage with each user. 

The important aspect for the end user is that the data is processed on their actual device. This of course means that there is zero need to store personal information.  In fact, privacy is at the very heart of Covatic’s solution. Every piece of PII data is kept safe and secure, never leaving the end user’s mobile device. Serendipity can process the data on the device and then only shares anonymous media opportunities and statistics as audience insights.

In order to achieve an engaging user experience, the priority is to understand the physical context of the user and then to enable rich, focused content and experiences – what I want, when I want it and in a format that works for the user.  We then track activity data which provides essential context for the format of the content and predicts behaviours based on patterns. 

All the user’s data is kept on the phone – the output is the window of time - called “media opportunities”; e.g. there is a device which has a 20 min opportunity between 8 and 8:30 every morning while they are walking – so only serve audio during this window. Our SDK builds a unique engagement schedule for each individual user and provides media opportunities based on activity, interest and location to allow relevant content to be delivered at the right time, for the optimum duration - personalised to that user.

More importantly, the customer is put first as they will receive the best content presented at the most receptive time. Addressing the privacy needs of the end user and adding an effortless experience for them whilst providing the app owner with real world context to allow for better targeting of content, is a hands down win win situation for all. 

Whether you are an app owner, broadcaster, media owner or brand, if you want your app to engage better with your customer and deliver personalised content without exposing personal data, contact the Covatic team and  learn how to unlock all the benefits of Serendipity.


Founded in 2017, Covatic is a forward thinking company delivering smart personalisation to apps. By exploring the use of mobile based algorithms, the Covatic team of leading data scientists  uses the physical context of the user to create exceptional engaging in-app experiences. Covatic delivers this by identifying when, where and how each individual can engage with content – without the need to expose personal data. 

Their leading solution, Serendipity by Covatic is a mobile SDK for iOS and Android which allows app owners to build a deep understanding of their users and personalise the delivery of content at an individual level. It achieves this by building a unique profile for the user and predicting their activities, behaviours and preferences. The SDK also guarantees that private information is processed securely on a user’s own device and privacy has been built into every aspect of Serendipity by Covatic.