Last week, four trade groups, representing publishers like Conde Nast, Hearst and Axel Springer, addressed a letter to Google CEO Sundar Pichai, angered over the tech giant’s new newly introduced policy preceding the EU implementation of GDPR.
Comprised of trade associations, Digital Content Next, European Publishers Council, News Media Alliance and the News Media Association, they stated:
"Your proposal severely falls short on many levels and seems to lay out a framework more concerned with protecting your existing business model in a manner that would undermine the fundamental purposes of the GDPR and the efforts of publishers to comply with the letter and spirit of the law."
The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) begins May 25.
GDPR prohibits companies from using data collected by third parties like Google. Under the new policy, Google is telling publishers they must share data they receive from consumers in order to use its software to sell ads. If Google’s later use of the data is found to violate GDPR, publishers will shoulder the consequences, not Google.
Outlets found in violation would face fees of $25 million or 4% of global revenue, depending on which is greater.
As part of its GDPR compliance, Axel Springer and Funke Mediengruppe’s Media Impact are using an AI-powered platform called 1plusX, that enables publishers to process and analyze the raw data they've collected in useful and GDPR compliant ways.
Fiona Salmon, UK MD of 1plusX, told Publishing Insider: “1plusX is also future-proofed, built from scratch to comply with upcoming data regulations, including the GDPR. We remove much of the headache of GDPR compliance by providing easy-to-use consumer opt-in/out and data deletion tools.”
1plusX’s reporting tools enable full transparency on what data is collected and how it is used.
“Publishers, advertisers and media agencies want to define the parameters of their own reports. They want to drill down and analyze their own data in a way that is bespoke to their particular needs. This enables them to learn far more about consumer behavior as well as the performance of content and advertising,” Salmon explained.
Platforms like 1plusX offer features beyond data management, including a data creation engine that allows publishers to match clients with even more relevant ads, articles and products.
Salmon said: “It matches thousands of unregistered consumers to content and ads based on statistically relevant predictions of their interests, characteristics and personal preferences. This means publishers can effectively monetize 100% of their users.”
A client’s data is protected by ensuring the data is separated and never shared. According to Salmon, the platform allows a publisher to glean a great deal of information about its audience without extra data sets.
“Data added into the platform is fully traceable by its source and always remains the exclusive property of each individual customer. They are, and always will be, the sole owner and authorized user at all times — unless they enter into a GDPRcompliant data alliance,” she said.
Data alliances, which find complementary data controllers working together to monetize data sets, are another way companies can continue to collect data under GDPR without using a third-party provider. It also allows companies to gain traction against Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Netflix and Google.
Salmon said many large publishers are still using the services of those tech giants, “supposedly due to a lack of alternatives.” But the creation of a data alliance with the proper partners can allow publishers or brands to develop a strong niche, making them more competitive in the long run.
“The impending GDPR is likely to make data alliances even more attractive, as many media companies only possess a small amount of GDPR compliant data,” she explained.
However, data alliances aren’t an automatic solution. They pose many technical and compliance challenges. For one, publishers must ensure all data is collected using the proper consents. They also need reliable technology to simplify the process, ensure traceability of the data source and gain “meaningful and bespoke insight and targeting” from the data.
Platforms like 1plusX solve these problems for publishers. As the new media landscape unfolds following GDPR, it’s likely many more will spring up, hopefully empowering publishers and creating safer, more meaningful experiences for consumers.