Is the End of Self Regulation in Data Privacy Here?

Now more than ever, people want their data protected. This doesn’t come as a shock given the countless data privacy scares we’ve experienced this year- the FaceApp frenzy, the hacking of 100 Million Capital One credit card accountsthe revelation of Alexa listening and transcribing private conversations, and strangely similarly, Facebook’s recent admittance to using third-parties to transcribe audio messages in their Messenger app. The Advertising Research Foundation recently reported that consumers aren’t enticed by the promise of personalization in exchange for data, and their willingness to give up this information is dropping significantly

Their study showed that compliance to share a home address has dropped from 41% to 31%, while those willing to share an email has dropped from 61% to 54%, and the willingness to share a spouse’s name dropped from 41% to 33%. Participants of the study responded that they understand why user data is of importance for advertising purposes, but aren’t necessarily knowledgeable regarding terminology or more technical tactics, which may further incite anxiety and skepticism when these data breaches do arise. The Advertising Research Foundation’s study implies that consumers are more involved in the discussion of cybersecurity and data privacy, and they’re becoming more wily and selective when it comes to what they’re willing to share. 

Although Facebook’s $5B Fine didn’t hold enough weight to even rock their stock prices, marketers are gearing up for the end times of self-regulation and laissez-faire data policy laws. More than likely, the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) will be set to go into effect starting 2020, which the International Association of Privacy Professionals called, “the most influential privacy law the United States has ever seen.” According to their website, the law is set to accomplish three things:

  1. Protect your right to tell a business not to share or sell your personal information.
  2. Gain control over the personal information that is collected about you.
  3. Hold businesses responsible for safeguarding your personal information.

This law is set to bring about transparency in a more tangible way by allowing users to request information on what specifically was collected, who it was shared with or sold to, and why this information was acquired. It also allows California citizens the right to request deletion of personal information, and even the right to opt-out of their data being sold to third-parties. Given the massive scale of data privacy breaches in recent years, it goes without saying that something needs to change, and the CCPA may be a precursor of what’s to come at the national level. Although programmatic third-party cookies have been the name of the game for many marketers of the last decade, we expect that there will be a shift towards advanced contextualized targeting in a future where data privacy is more distinctly regulated.

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PUBLISHED BY Emily French

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