Alliant CEO: Wishing For A Federal Data Privacy Law

JoAnne Monfradi Dunn, founder and CEO of Alliant, a data-as-a-service company that combines first- and third-party data to create second-party data, would like to see a federal privacy law enacted and not rely on each state to have their own.

“Maybe one day we will have a federal law, but I won’t hold my breath,” Dunn says.

First-party data is much more predictive of consumers behavior, and marries well with third-party data, she says.

Dunn founded Alliant in 2002. The company was built from the bottom up as a direct-mail solutions provider. In time, Dunn transformed it to an omnichannel solutions provider to deliver audiences and data in any channel at any time, from mail to connected television (CTV).

Her concerns about changes in data use and structure led to her suggesting that the federal government develop a data-privacy strategy and not leave it up to each individual state.



Dunn says it's important to advise brands on how to address the intricacies of data strategy and management.

Aside from California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) and General Data Privacy Regulations (GDPR), and more, the European Union and United States in March agreed in principle to a cross-border framework for cross-border data transfers in a deal that would replace Privacy Shield, an arrangement that allows firms to share Europeans’ data with the U.S.

Data & Programmatic Insider (DPI) caught up with Dunn to talk about her love for data and some of the challenges of having so many privacy laws. What follows are excepts from the conversation. 

D&PI:Where did your love of data come from?

Dunn:  I found my way into the marketing industry accidentally through Time Inc., as an analyst. My degree is in education. I was a teacher by training. Time Inc. was a great place to develop a career. I had several roles, which made me a marketing generalist. It gave me a great foundation.

D&PI: What did you want to be when you grew up?

Dunn:  People my age didn’t say they want to be a marketer. It wasn’t what we did.

I knew nothing about marketing when I joined Time. Marketing wasn’t my plan.

D&PI: What are your biggest concerns about data and the industry?

Dunn:  Regulation. For dozens of years, we self-regulated, and did a pretty good job of it.

The environment creates enormous expense and exposure for brands and service providers. There are different laws in different states and countries. At the end of the day, I’m a consumer just like you and want my data protected, and I want my data used respectively.

Our role at Alliant is to be a steward for consumer data and honor the privacy, but until we get federal regulation in this country, it will be a big challenge for all.

D&PI:  What should the regulation look like?

Dunn:  I don’t think CCPA is terrible, but some aspects are impossible to manage. It needs to be a platform to address opt-outs, for starters.

Managing data is much more complex than most people understand.

D&PI: What are some of the complexities to manage data?

Dunn:  If we have 250 million consumer names, but a billion versions, JoAnne Monfradi Dunn in the Alliant data hub could be 'Jo Dunn' or 'JM Dunn.' And then there are multiple variations of my address. I

t’s important to bring all the first-party PII data together with the transactions and third-party data, so a marketer knows what to sell me and in what channel.

Google says it wants to eliminate IP in browsers, but there are other options.




1 comment about "Alliant CEO: Wishing For A Federal Data Privacy Law".
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  1. Justin Thomas from Searchbug, Inc., April 26, 2022 at 5:27 p.m.

    Couldn't agree more with JoAnne's overall sentiment in the article. There is a strong need for centralized rules surrounding the collection, sharing and storing of PII. CCPA is a decent framework, which is why many states are using it as a 'template' for their own laws, but I also agree that some aspects of it are impossible to manage.

    One of the greatest challenges in data is making sure that it is clean, accurate and reliable. Until PII is in itself centralized, cleaned and presented in one consistent format (which at this point in time seems highly unlikely), the next best solution is to work with a company such as my own, Searchbug, which utilizes a waterfall algorithm to sift through thousands of databases to find the most current and up-to-date data for a given individual.

    Anyone who 'owns' the data is inevitably presenting stale data. The best data is 'alive' and ever-changing. This is the waterfall advantage.

    All the best,

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