Down The Track And Down To Earth With GDPR

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is creeping up on us. But contrary to popular fears, it might be the best thing that ever happened to marketing — or at least some sources say.  

For one thing, it raises the bar on opt-in data collection. “While this will reduce the scale of data collected, it will dramatically raise the quality,” Exchange Wire writes. 

And, it is driving the creation of new technologies. For instance, the IAB Tech Lab has introduced “an openRTB feature to convey user consent through the digital supply,” Ad Exchanger notes.

How does that work? The protocol “introduces a bidstream data field that indicates if an individual is an EU data subject and whether the person has consented to see targeted ads, as well as what data is available as part of that consent, including age, gender, location and other information the EU considers sensitive,” Ad Exchanger explains.

That could have an impact that transcends GDPR compliance.



Granted, many firms are unprepared for GDPR. And Business Insider warns that the GDPR and ePrivacy law will make the web unsurfable — a benefit to tech behemoths like Apple, Google, Facebook and Amazon, it says.

Oh, yes, the ePrivacy Regulation. Remember that? It’s the double whammy that marketers face, along with GDPR. It replaces the so-called “Cookie Law” enacted in 2012. 

As we reported last week, there are varying drafts that still have to be blended together. But there’s nothing to worry about: J-P De Clerck advises us that ”the ePrivacy Regulation is approved by the European Parliament in October 2017 so those drafts don't matter anymore.”

Catherine Armitage, senior public affairs manager in charge of World Federation of Advertisers’ Digital Governance Exchange, wrote in Marketing Week: "As part of the process of revision, three different bodies will publish draft versions of what they would like the updated ePrivacy regulation to look like before trying to reach a compromise."

She adds: "So far, two draft texts have been published: the European Commission’s and the European Parliament’s. National governments in all 28 European countries (including the UK) are currently in discussions to agree what their draft text should say, although this could take another six months." 

Either way, the ePrivacy Regulation could take some time before it hits. De Clerck says: “ePrivacy won't be officially published this year, it's in the stages after EP approval in the trialog procedure of the EU and, in all honesty, the data protection authorities have too much work with GDPR and reforming themselves as do the member states.”

De Clerck continues that “only 2 are ready for GDPR, they won't be ready to finalize discussions with the Commission which is the final step for the ePrivacy Regulation.” And De Clerck reports that the regulation “will also affect marketing in several other ways, e.g. outdoor advertising where the Internet of Things is used or platforms such as Messenger chat.”

But back to GDPR. People wonder: Are there practical ways to deal with it?

Yes there are. The Next Web advises emailers to:

  • Seek consent wherever possible
  • Don’t email someone who has unsubscribed or opted out 
  • Differentiate between b2 and b2c: In B2B, email should be “targeted at a person’s role within a business, not at the specific person
  • Finally, don’t  assume people will be interested in everything you do — send content based on customer behavior and interests

And remember: May 25 is three months away.


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