There is increased consciousness about data. It spans from consumers, regulators and the entire Advertising industry. This movement is healthy and yet brings along more un-answered questions than actual solutions. In this context, my aim is to shed some lights on what the real issues around data are, their potential impact in real life and trigger some call to action. At Global Data Bank, we strive for “creating a data safe world”. This ambition can only be achieved with all stakeholders involved in the data ecosystem taking responsible action to fix a broken data supply chain. This includes Advertisers, Publishers, martech suppliers and agencies.
Now that regulators have started enforcing data laws by inflicting severe fines (up to 4% of global revenues according to GDPR), the financial hurt starts accelerating the movement to take long overdue corrective actions.
From a consumer perspective, the increased use of mobile devices, the demand for customized content and real-time transactions via e-commerce amongst other things have incentivized marketers to shift Media budgets from the traditional advertising, TV spots towards so called Digital Media. Many Advertisers took steps to shift from mass-media to 1-1 Advertising. To do so, consumers’ data became a most precious asset.
Data usage isn’t the real issue here. It’s rather making sure consumers are transparently informed in a way that’s understandable to anyone about what’s going to be done with their data and that they are given a fair chance to give consent or opt out.
Everyone has the right to know. What happens with data when my mother who suffers diabetes searches for medication on a healthcare brand website? What happens with data when my wife looks for pregnancy related FMCG product? What happens with data when I’m browsing travel websites for our next family trip? The current broken data supply chain sometimes allows data which were given consent to be used by only a specific Advertisers/Publishers to potentially go elsewhere. This is called data leakage and is risky for many reasons. Privacy is only one of them.
A recent study estimates that Marketing companies have gathered on average 1600 data points per consumer in the US as an example. This new data mining industry comes with an enormous responsibility on those companies to act responsibly and do the right thing to protect all of us as consumers. There were already too many instances when trust given to brands has been lost due to data leakage.
Risks & opportunities are the two sides of the same coin. Brands which compete for consumer trust will need to step up their efforts towards data transparency. Regaining consumer trust, avoiding PR scandals requires an uphill battle to re-build solid architecture of the data supply chain.
Often times, this needs to be handled by a multi-functional team within Companies. Lawyers have been on the frontline for the past years to understand the nascent legal frameworks and get ready from a contractual stand point. IT and data teams are also responsible for technical aspect of the data architecture and sometimes DMP (data management platforms). Procurement manages the interface with third party & suppliers and therefore maybe in charge of data audits and 3rd party risk compliance. Last but not least, Marketing and Media teams which are the actual recipient and processors of data need to get onboard swiftly.
Let me ask this again: How much risks are you taking with data?
Visit www.gdb.net/dsi to help assess your risks and get our recommended actions.