Identity and data compliance are two of the most prevalent issues within the digital ad industry in 2019, with organisations both large and small having to balance the need for accurate user identification with the necessity of abiding with legislation on the use of consumer data.
Both topics have come to the forefront in recent weeks, with Google due to launch their set of privacy tools on Chrome which will restrict the use of third-party cookies, and the likelihood of stricter GDPR enforcement following the one-year anniversary of its launch. Ahead of a special live recording of the MadTech Podcast in Cologne, ExchangeWire gets the views from a selection of the guest speakers for a preview of the challenges associated with data compliance and identity management, and how collaborative efforts are being made to overcome these issues.
A wake-up call on compliance for the digital advertising industry
Consumer wariness of the data ecosystem/corporate surveillance is fuelling the introduction of new data privacy laws around the world. But the solution to the problem isn’t more laws that only the very large companies can more easily comply with. It’s for industry players to self-regulate. Because at the end of the day, data compliance is costly, and the winners will be the companies that have the resources to work within strict regulations. The FTC’s USD$5bn (£3.94bn) fine for Facebook and ongoing DPA investigations should be taken as a warning shot for any entity that gathers data. This is a wake-up call for the digital advertising industry.
GDPR is now a year old and there are still massive operational challenges for both publishers and their partners. While improvements are noted, a quick review of ten premium UK publishers reveals that approximately 10% of cookies track the user without their explicit consent.
Not only are CMPs proving inadequate, and the IAB Europe framework effectiveness being questioned, there is also the struggle to secure frequently incomplete and inaccurate declaration of tracking technologies across the digital advertising ecosystem. Initiatives like the AOP Cookie Consortium in the UK are a great first step in providing transparency by consolidating data tracking information, not just cookies, in one location for review by both publishers and their partners.
Data compliance all boils down to publishers not having a complete picture of the code executing in websites and mobile apps. Only when publishers proactively audit their entire supply chain and escalate issues to their digital partners will the industry feel a better sense of control.
Matt O’Neill, General Manager, Europe, The Media Trust
First-party data relevant for focus on customer engagement
“Handelsblatt Media Group, along with many other publishers and companies, aims to increase the usage of first-party data not only to develop customisable marketing campaigns but also with regards to product development, creation of editorial content, and the marketing of our inventory. We derive first-party data from different touchpoints, and it comprises CRM data, behavioural data, and conversions. First-party data is so relevant for us because we are increasingly focusing on customer engagement as a key indicator for product performance and probability of subscription.
“To really understand the requirements of our users we need reliable and appropriate data that we own, and that which helps us to understand our users’ path to subscription. We have to admit that we face different challenges in that regard, such as the connection of data from different channels in one data warehouse, or the connection of identifiable users and data gathered at different touchpoints. One example is the integration of the results of our diverse market research projects, where we gather a lot of relevant data that we cannot match with our user profiles, since information derived cannot be used for individualised marketing purposes.”
Imme Baumüller, Director Audience & Market Intelligence, Handelsblatt Media Group
Unified ID solutions providing an alternative to GAFA login standards
“Data management and data protection are big international issues in today’s digital era. In order to remain competitive with big players from the US, Europe-based organisations have started developing different approaches of unified ID solutions for the European digital market. After the implementation of the GDPR in Germany, German media groups ProSiebenSat1, RTL Germany, and United Internet partnered to establish the European netID Foundation. The aim was to establish a GDPR-compliant, secure login standard for users, an alternative for the entire digital market to the big American (GAFA) login standards.
“As a consequence, the unified ID solution netID was designed not only for German, but for European users, as a personalised data system with decentrally-stored data that can easily be integrated on any website within Europe. The central privacy centre provides a personal access point for users to take control of their personal data, and manage persistent permissions, as well as login details. The overall aim is to provide a transparent data management for users. With netID, they have a unique overview of data they are allowing the websites they are visiting to use and share. It is therefore a sustainable login standard that extends throughout Europe and across multiple industries. From a market perspective, the persistent netID Identifier will also allow the identification of netID users cross-device and cookie-independent.”
Sven Bornemann, CEO, netID
Audience data is the new battleground
“As more browsers crack down on tracking and consumer education improves, it’s increasingly clear that audience data is the new battleground, and whoever owns access to that data will be the victor. Publishers are positioned to win as they know their audience as individuals, not segments, and this first-party data is more valuable. Basically, the hand that rocks the data rules the world.
“However, monetising the value of this data could come at a price to consumers who don’t want to be constantly greeted with consent questions every time they access a website or mobile app to read the news, shop, check the weather, book travel, play a game and more.
“Multiple initiatives are under way to facilitate the consent process for consumers, namely netID and Verimi. Agreeing to a set of terms and practices, these coalitions of likeminded partners offer a single-login for consumers to review, and agree to, a set of tracking-related permissions. Not only will this login provide convenience to consumers but also it will develop deeper relationships among premium publishers and become a viable, more profitable alternative to walled gardens.
“The challenge is to make sure the coalition members abide by rules and also actively thwart data leakage and penetration by unauthorised third-party partners.”
Eric Hall, Commercial Lead, DACH, The Media Trust
MadTech Live Cologne 2019 will be held on 13th June at the view Cologne, further information and tickets are available here.