Just yesterday, Google invited members from four major publishing trade groups-- Digital Content Next, European Publishers Council, News Media Alliance and the News Media Association—to meet with executives about the tech giant's approach to data as the GDPR goes into effect.
The four groups, who represent a wide swath of the publishing industry, believe Google is looking out for its own data interests rather than the interests of publishers who have become increasingly reliant on the tech giant for advertising revenue. Earlier this month, the groups addressed a letter to Google CEO Sundar Pichai stating these concerns.
And while the GDPR won’t have the impact on U.S. brands and extensions of international companies it will in the EU, its implementation could result in U.S. customers demanding similar actions.
Doug Stevenson, CEO of Vibrant, talked to Publishing Insider about the very real implications of the GDPR for EU companies and how it might impact business stateside.
Vibrant conducted a study of the how much customer data will still be usable after GDPR implementation. On average, brands will lose 43% of EU audience data following GDPR. This stat came from 32 companies that have widely gone through the process of making their data completely GDPR-compliant.
“As access to cookie IDs disappears, GDPR could substantially decrease programmatic/data driven-advertising in the EU and threaten its future in the U.S.,” Stevenson told Publishing Insider. “Publishers will need to rapidly fill their inventory with pro-privacy solutions that do not require consent, such as contextual advertising, native opportunities and non-personalized ads.”
Platforms are popping up to help publishers manage customer consent. For example, tech company Sonobi launched a “privacy-by-design” consent management platform this week that provides publishers with a full compliance auditing platform and “an ID solution enabling the continued delivery of all monetization channels regardless of the number of partners a publisher chooses to work with,” the company claims.
Sonobi markets itself as different from other consent management platforms because it goes beyond cookie-only GDPR solutions, giving control of data subject interaction to an organization’s data protection officer, while allowing individual users to maintain full consent management.
While some brands have already budgeted for GDPR violations, expecting to pay fines when their strategies don’t hold up, Stevenson thinks an incentive beyond the realm of revenue might be more persuasive.
Stevenson says, “Regulators may not be able to enforce GDPR at scale initially, but for many brands, the bigger concern is about reputation. Consumers have become increasingly aware of the usage of their data due to the Facebook/Cambridge Analytica scandal, publisher notifications and pro-privacy initiatives. There is a real fear around being called out as the example by a consumer or activist group,” he says.
“No brand or publisher wants to be the poster child for disregarding consumer privacy rights,” he concludes.