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Breaking News: Important Privacy Changes

Issue 63: July 7, 2022

As we mentioned in our Privacy Regulation Update: The Doors Are Locking on User Data newsletter last week, over the next two weeks, we will share a curated list of 2021/22 articles to assist you and your organization in conducting some deep and critical thinking on how you collect, manage and leverage data. We will also review tips on how you adapt to the limitations and restrictions set in place by the current or soon-to-be privacy and data regulations, plus how you mature your strategy towards outcomes in the present and future as a result.

Note to self: The privacy environment is only going to become more complex in the near and far term.

EU Moves Ahead

This past Tuesday, July 5, 2022, the EU Parliament officially voted and approved the Digital Services Act and the Digital Markets Act. Each is now the law of the land in the European Union. Parts of each Act will come into force immediately, in 2023 and in entirety in 2024. The US American Data Privacy and Protection Act (ADPPA), modeled from many parts of the EU Acts, continues to gain support and traction in the US House of Representatives.

Reducing Risk

Here’s how this will affect your organization. Your in-place strategies and tactics have either become more challenging, illegal or simply no longer effective If you have:

  • Current or prospective EU customers.
  • An audience based in the EU.
  • You leverage retargeted advertising to engage individuals residing in the EU.
  • You use the major social and search platforms to curate those EU individuals.
  • You target them with advertising based on their interests, demographics, and behaviors to generate immersion or sales.
  • You don’t have a consent mechanism in place and haven’t sought and received permission from EU-based individuals to engage and communicate with them, collect and track their data, or serve them advertising.

If your customers, prospective customers, or audience are based in the United States, the ADPPA may soon become the law of the land subjecting your organizational strategies and tactics to similar regulations now in effect in the EU.

Tech Challenged

An important item that we did not cover last week is the new legal necessity within the borders of the EU for large tech companies (Facebook, Google, Twitter, TikTok, Amazon) to inform users how their corporate algorithms work, including how they use and leverage these algorithms to generate and present recommendations. This includes how recommendations are curated, why those recommendations are presented, and what personal demographic, consumption, location, inference (device ID or type, physical address, IP address, etc.) or other behavioral data (what you have purchased, “liked”, “loved”, etc.) is collected. The Digital Markets Act majorly seeks to control and manage how the large social and tech companies behave, but all organizations will experience the impacts.

In the Acts

Each of the EU Acts is complex and like GDPR will take time to be interpreted by the courts. A legal determination will be made on whether small organizations are subject to the Acts, if they can comply with the Acts, and how they will continue to “do business” in the EU.  As most organizations (small or large) are not as nimble or agile as they would like to believe, the time to think, plan, change or even transform how they do digital business in the EU needs to start now. The necessity for a change in US strategy is not far behind.

Some are already predicting that the Digital Markets Act sets a potential structure that may lead to the break-up of Google and its monopoly in the digital advertising market, which will transform how other large companies behave. Google, Facebook, Apple, or the like are required to strictly manage their content and product placements, the advertising they directly serve, and the advertising they serve on behalf of paying customers (like you and your organization). It’s time to step back and gain an understanding of the environment and the digital marketing monopoly these behemoths hold.

Are You Active or Passive?

We operate in a highly dynamic environment where complacency comes at a high price. Are you willing to pay the price or take this time over the summer to think about your digital future? And we mean really think critically and deeply about your data strategy, how you use data, how you seek to gain new customers or engage those you have.

Here is our curated and suggested summer reading list this week that brings forward how to frame and rethink your overall and first-party data strategy including how to stay focused on outcomes, not outputs. And always reach out to us with any questions about the increasingly byzantine developments with new privacy policies and protocols.

Measuring What Matters

Leaders of a data-driven culture solidify decision-making that is evidence-based and results in demonstrable findings that lead to the best opportunity for achievement and success. A cautionary note, however: Analysis of data can be subjective. A data-driven culture must recognize that personal bias, internal self-promotion, internal politics, personalities, or even external pressures play into how decisions are often considered and made. Read more.

Good Data Is Vital Currency…Bad Data Is a Disaster

There is an insidious reality in data management. We don’t identify and assess the right input that assesses outcome measurement. We also make faulty assumptions about incomplete or bad data, we assign the wrong definition and meaning to the data, and we don’t often question its value. Human error is often the root of faulty data analytics and what is measured as a result. Learn the fates of big brands that misused or never used data. Read more.

Do You Measure by Outputs or Outcomes?

The Knowledge Age remains new territory as we navigate an environment where we talk to machines and oversee computers who mine and assimilate data. Our daily focus is on the acquisition, dissemination, and use of knowledge. The activities in our Knowledge Age, just like those in the Industrial Age, require energy. We find ourselves focused more on measuring the output of energy and effort as opposed to measuring what really matters: outcomes and impact. Read more.

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