Leadership Perspectives

Power to the People with GDPR

Peter Hamilton

With new advancements in data management and industry hype for people-centric solutions, advertisers are creating deeper customer relationships and becoming more thoughtful about the combined user journey. But with great knowledge comes great responsibility.

Marketing — and the marketing ecosystem — simply works better when advertisers and their customers have a direct, transparent relationship that respects the customer’s privacy rights and wishes. Just as good advertisers know not to bombard a cat person with dog videos or use Carolina blue when advertising to Duke fans, they also know to leave customers alone when they’re unresponsive to repetitive ads or opt out of certain marketing channels.

The need to embrace consumer privacy preferences is clear table stakes — and immediate.

Cue the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation, which goes into enforcement on May 25, 2018, expanding individual rights and elevating expectations for companies that do business online. A quick web search for “GDPR” yields more than 5 million results, including anxiety-inducing headlines ranging from a “welcome revolution” to apocalyptic Y2K paranoia. The GDPR has also accelerated the emergence of a privacy-industrial complex of new (mostly unproven) tools capitalizing off of this frenzy and fear.

So what’s at the crux of this data privacy movement? We’ve talked about the increased importance of transparency, accountability, and security in the past. With GDPR, it’s time to add permission to that list. Specifically, clear and conspicuous consent, or a documented legitimate interest to use a customer’s information in the way that you have explicitly stated you are going to use it, and for no other purpose.

This regulation is unprecedented in impact and scope in the digital advertising world, and will serve as a differentiator for organizations ready to embrace the new normal for data privacy and security. Not only does it place the compliance burden on the “data controller” — those that decide who, what, and where — it also spreads the responsibility to corresponding “data processors.” This shared responsibility will be key to understanding compliance in the digital advertising life cycle, which is already muddled by the interplay of advertisers, publishers, ad platforms, networks, agencies, and affiliates.

In short, these changes show it’s more important than ever to know and trust your business partners.

At TUNE, we’ve been preparing a number of ways, including:

  1. working to update our products for data management flexibility in order to facilitate compliance for our clients as data controllers;
  2. engaging an EU-based third party to review and guide our products and practices to abide by GDPR principles; and
  3. updating our privacy guidance, client educational pages, and even creating a GDPR-dedicated page, which is now live on tune.com.

We’re committed to doing right by our clients and the end users who trust them with their information. We look forward to working with you to improve transparency, making marketing better, and bringing power to the people.

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Author
Peter Hamilton

A performance marketer by background, Peter is the CEO of TUNE, the world's leading mobile marketing platform. Peter has lead the company to 9 offices around the world and nearly 300 employees, now trusted by companies like Expedia, Starbucks, Supercell, and Uber. Follow @peterhamilton