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How do ad tech companies ensure user privacy?

As the world of digital marketing evolves minute by minute, users are increasingly concerned about data privacy. User expectations are rising as the public demands more transparency, choice and control over how personal data online is used. Rightly so, users often don’t know how their data is being used. With each new hacking or data sharing scandal, consumer confidence in the system is shaken. Additionally, industry-wide changes and privacy regulations are changing the way data-driven marketing will soon be conducted.

Users should understand how and when their data is collected. Today, user data can be managed in multiple ways and is unified with data collected from different sources to improve targeting, attribution, measurement, and ad frequency throttling.

The main challenge that advertising and marketing companies face with personal data is to obtain consent from users to collect it in the first place, to ensure its security and to create a chain of custody with their associates when they exchange data with them.

So how do adtech companies ensure data privacy after user consent? Simply put, companies are working with regulations to fulfill their disclosure and transparency obligations under various geographic land laws, as nearly 137 countries have legislation in place for data protection and privacy. For example, some companies strictly adhere to the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) which protects the data and privacy of EU citizens for transactions made in EU member states. It determines data retention periods, notifies visitors of collected data, mandates site data security assessments, and more. One of the most important requirements of GDPR compliance is data deletion/purge, where a data protection officer (DPO) oversees all processes and ensures they are adhered to at all times.

In India, the industry is considering an upcoming Data Protection Bill which will create a framework for data protection for the first time. The framework would require those who acquire, access, and process user data to provide encryption and always protect the integrity of users from misuse.

Other than that, adtech companies protect the data they process from despicable gamers by investing in human resources and teams that prioritize privacy and minimize the amount of data held. Companies are finding new ways to connect a potential consumer to the retailer by mapping and simplifying data flows and improving transparency and a solid legal foundation. Moving away from targeted ads, marketing companies are turning to third-party cookies and many alternative data collection methods that are effective while preparing everyone for tougher regulations in the future. This provides market opportunities for disruptors by allowing them to explore contextual advertising.

Additionally, all data is encrypted using the SSL/TLS communication protocol during transfer. Mobile advertising and adtech companies are now achieving SOC2 Type II and ePrivacy certification, which means they have passed reviews that ensure all data and privacy measures are followed.

Now platforms offer ways to ensure that the accumulation and confidentiality of data has been declared to the user. For example, Google provides controller-to-controller terms for the use of Google Ads, where each party takes full responsibility and liability for the data processing activities it performs. It is legally required that each activity be built on an appropriate legal basis. Advertisers can transparently define and communicate the scope of processing activities in the declaration of consent. The extent of this depends on the balance of interests and mainly on what the user expects.

It is crucial for digital advertising companies to inform users about the data processing carried out on a particular platform, which includes the use of online tracking solutions. Although clear indications are not always possible, several indicators and policies are part of informed consent and are used as navigation by many advertisers.

Many advertisers and publishers are exploring various identity solutions that would provide an alternative to third-party cookies and are likely to adopt them in the coming years. This could have an impressionable impact on the future of programmatic advertising and digital marketing.

In a mobile-centric market like India, a recent report estimated that digital advertising will grow almost to Rs. 33,070 crore with a 37% share and become the largest medium in Indian Adex. Although the digital medium spans many segments, including gaming brands, mobile advertising will clearly dominate other advertising mediums.

What the future holds:

With a tactical shift in the amount of data that will be available to advertising and marketing companies, many are turning to advanced technologies such as AI-based solutions and programmatic self-service cloud platforms to help. overcome data strategy challenges. Machine learning (ML) is already being adopted and will essentially be a trial and error phase until foolproof solutions that can help marketers achieve their goals can be implemented. But for Indian adtech companies at a time when there is still a lack of privacy awareness and framework, the most crucial factor is the implementation and infrastructure used to keep data privacy intact.



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Disclaimer

The opinions expressed above are those of the author.



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