Imminent Privacy Regs Force Brands to Get Serious About Data

Article Featured Image

The coming changes to consumer privacy laws are bound to be “super chaotic,” said Neil Sweeney, founder and CEO of Freckle, speaking at today's RampUp marketing conference in New York City. But that’s okay, because “chaos creates opportunity” and Sweeney is in the consent management business.

Consumer privacy usually gets little attention at digital marketing conferences, but with the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) set to kick in January 1, 2020, brands have little choice but to take notice. Like the GDPR did in Europe, the CCPA will give consumers the ability to see what personal data is collected and delete information. The act only covers California citizens, but forward-thinking brands are using this an occasion to create global data policies that put a premium on consent.

To Sweeney, that sounds like a good business to be in. Many companies are downplaying how sweeping the coming changes will be, he said, and while larger companies will have the resources to manage the complicated and onerous business of privacy management, smaller companies won’t. “Privacy is like tax law. It’s fundamentally changing on a daily basis,” he said.

Many of today’s businesses require a constant supply of inexpensive consumer data to operate, Sweeney noted. They’ll have a difficult path forward as the supply of consensual data declines while demand rises. “I think it’s going to hit people right in the mouth,” he said.

So far, consumer data has been a marketing issue for companies, but after January 1 it’s a legal issue. It’s naïve to think the date will become another Y2K moment, Sweeney said—a potential catastrophe with plenty of buildup but no impact. Companies will have no choice but to change how they solicit and manage consumer data.

The solution he envisions is a “consent-as-a-service” model, where third-party companies manage and transact fully opt-in compliant consumer accounts. The ideal solution is decentralized, he believes, avoiding large data repositories that would attract hackers. It also gives power to consumers, letting them shut off access to personal data whenever they wish.

In preparing for privacy changes, companies need to carefully train any staff that might respond to consumer requests, emphasized Noga Rosenthal, chief privacy officer and general counsel at NCC Media, a TV ad sales technology company. They also need to look at the information they collect and decide if they feel comfortable turning that over to consumers. For example, one of her clients had a data category called “baby buyers,” meaning households that buy childcare goods. Thinking of the optics, she advised them to rename it.

Photo: Neil Sweeney, Freckle; Noga Rosenthal, NCC Media; and Neil Tolbert, OneTrust; at the RampUp marketing conference.

Streaming Covers
for qualified subscribers
Subscribe Now Current Issue Past Issues
Related Articles

How Streaming Services Can Deal With Consumer Privacy Concerns

Third-party data is going away, so OTT services need to explore new ways to leverage first-party data and innovative monetization strategies.

LiveRamp Acquiring Data Plus Math to Drive CTV Advertising

LiveRamp announced it will acquire Data Plus Math in a deal worth $150 million, paying $120 million upfront in cash, as well as $30 million in stocks at later dates.

Comcast Advertising Creates Initiative for Addressable TV Ads

Addressable advertising will be coming to pay TV services in a big way, and Comcast Advertising is leading the charge.

Netflix Adding TLS to Protect User Privacy

The Netflix Open Connect team announced earlier this week that it would be using Transport Level Security. Here's a look at its innovative approach to protecting viewing data at scale.

AdoTube and TidalTV Both Take Measures for Viewer Privacy

Two video advertising networks self-regulate on viewer data collection and tracking.