August 5, 2020

In Search of a Regulation Standard

The following is part of a series from our recent roundtable discussion, Finding Success in our New Data Reality, in collaboration with other leaders in the data and privacy space. Keep an eye on our blog in the coming weeks for additional learnings from this event.

Is the Wild West of data regulation finally coming to an end? The 2018 California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) and the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) implemented in the same year are both hints that a national or global standard could be on the way, but it’s still too early to tell if we’ll get there anytime soon. What we do know, however, is that until this standard emerges, companies trying to craft data-sharing strategies face vast uncertainty, which inevitably leads to inefficiency.

“Data sharing and collaboration present a huge opportunity for companies to increase their knowledge of consumers and activate informed, uber-relevant marketing messages. With that opportunity, however, comes a greater amount of responsibility around consumer privacy. The reality is that the adtech world is constantly changing, and with such change comes uncertainty. Google’s recent announcement regarding deprecation of third-party cookies and Apple’s regarding turning IDFA into opt-in for every app both impact a marketer’s ability to build and activate a multi-channel cohesive data strategy. This ultimately can lead to inefficiencies around technology investment, data strategy, media execution, and measurement.” – Daniella Harkins, GM, Strategic & Media Alliances

Whoever establishes this standard should ideally be a neutral party that attempts to keep the three main stakeholders—consumers, legal authority, and the tech platforms—balanced and able to check one another. Any policy must also take a holistic view of data privacy, taking into account content guidelines, currency, identity resolution, value, and trust, to name a few of the many issues at play.

The murkier these policies are, the more likely consumers will assume these companies are doing unclear things with their data, whether that’s true or just perception. This is why a simple, clear, and fair standard would be beneficial for all parties. Technology and its power to connect us can still push into new, exhilarating frontiers without making us feel like we’re living in frontier times.


Special thanks to our collaborators LiveRamp, Neustar, MediaMath, UserZoom, ImpactProduct, Flashtalking, MediaMonks, Microsoft, the 4A’s, Wunderman Thompson, 3Radical, and SAS.

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