Email Marketers Need To Focus On Privacy Compliance
Vejay Lalla, a law partner at Davis & Gilbert, who focuses on advertising, warned email marketers to be mindful of ensuring their work is in line with privacy regulations -- especially as regulations expand.
One area of focus should be with "sensitive data," which could be financial or health or related to chldren. Those areas will continue to be strictly regulated. But, other areas of law such as HIPA and the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act also can impact email marketing and vigilance about compliance is important.
Areas dealing with personally identifiable information (PII) are getting more scrutiny by the government, Lalla said at the MediaPost Email Insider Summit. There will be “increased scrutiny of aggegate data and data collected behaviorally ... behavorial data that can be linked back to personal data.”
Lalla said there is a generational divide that could affect privacy issues. Millennials are more lax about privacy issues. On the other hand, older people who use Facebook and explore a health matter and then suddenly get a targeted ad about that issue could be angry and the government could get involved as a result.
Lalla urged marketers to ensure communication with customers is transparent in order to stay within FTC guidelines, which is particularly needed as new tactics develop. “As you integrate email with other channels build privacy” protections into programs," he said.
The government could become increasingly concerned with third-party targeting. In other words, it's one thing to be watching "Jersey Shore" and getting an email from MTV, it's another for a third party to suddenly send out an email.
Separately, Lalla said his firm is working with WPP, the large agency holding company, on balancing data it has captured and remains valuable from a business perspective, "but not keeping data just for the sake of having it."