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March 8th, 2022
Ad Industry’s Third-Party Data Use Grew Despite Impending Cookie Shutdown
Chair of the Privacy & Data Security Group Daniel M. Goldberg was quoted in the article, ”Ad Industry’s Third-Party Data Use Grew Despite Impending Cookie Shutdown” by Cybersecurity Law Report. The article discusses the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB)’s annual State of Data report which showed the advertising industry increased its use of third-party data in 2021 from the prior year, despite the planned elimination of third-party tracking cookies on web browsers. The IAB issued a call to action with its research findings and warns that companies risk harsh disruption and costs if they do not move towards more privacy-safe data use. The report determined that too few companies in the industry are sufficiently preparing for the tracker phase-out. Daniel shares his thoughts on how regulators and companies are preparing for the next-generation tools and privacy laws.
With privacy rules becoming more strict and public focus rising, the proposed post-cookie solutions come with no guarantee that regulators will approve. Daniel says, “A lot of regulators may not look as closely at the fundamental technology or understand it.” He says the regulators may take a broad view of improper targeting of ads and what counts as personal data. “They are going to say, ‘I see what you’re doing here and you’re trying to be cute, but we don’t buy it.’”
The IAB emphasizes the importance of first-part data as it is essentially “the future.” Daniel who serves on an IAB legal advisory board observes, “the organization’s premise is that the public may put an end to cross-site tracking and ad personalization within a few years.” He adds “IAB is saying that not enough companies seem to understand what the big implications are going to be when the switch is flipped on cookies. Companies can’t stick their heads in the sand.”
While the report found companies have been slow to act, it showed leaders are at least thinking of the future. Daniel says, “Companies are holding back while so much remains ambiguous about the next-generation tools, he adds, “Companies are saying they don’t know what the next thing is going to look like, so we don’t want to put all of our eggs in one basket, supporting one technology when it turns out it will become antiquated.”
The article also notes that Privacy laws are up in the air, notably what the new CPRA regulations will say when the California Privacy Protection Agency (CPPA) issues them, scheduled for July 15, 2022. Daniel says, “Enterprises involved with advertising want to comply, act properly and avoid trouble.” Adding, “Companies are very open to exploring any and all solutions. Sometimes, they jump prematurely at a solution,” naively accepting the vendor’s claims about the product’s legality. “That’s where we have to slow them down, to vet the solution,” he said. “Vetting the privacy solutions for advertising has sometimes been drawn out because so much is changing,” Daniel continued. “Companies are monitoring emerging privacy laws and three other areas in flux: variation between different media formats’ privacy tools, the plethora of replacements under development for third-party cookies, and platform rules and mandates affecting data collection and ad tracking.”
Read the article here. (Behind paywall)
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