SiteSpect Synopsis: How GDPR Affects Marketing

April 24, 2018

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In about one month, on May 25, GDPR goes into effect in Europe. As data collection has become ubiquitous many major brands are going to need to update their practices and rethink consumer reporting. In this last month before the implementation of GDPR, this is what marketers in tech are talking about.

The Role of Marketing in GDPR,” Forbes

Juliette Rizkallah, a CMO and writer at Forbes, argues that with GDPR marketers must advocate for protecting customer data within their organizations. Since marketers most often handle customer data and access key information, they must also be the ones to hold their organizations accountable for the treatment of that data. She writes, “Marketers need to lead by example when it comes to helping protect the cybersecurity posture of the company they serve. I strongly believe that marketers need to be cybersecurity champions across the organization, partnering with IT to support their cause.”

The Takeaway: As organizations gear up for compliance with GDPR, marketers should take the onus on themselves to make protect consumer data.

9 Steps You Can Take Now to Get Prepared for GDPR,” MarTech Today

Writer Robin Kurzer offers actionable steps to reach GDPR compliance for May 25. The list covers everything from hiring a data protection officer to “don’t panic.” But the most common theme is implementing the documentation and ability to track and understand consumer consent and data analysis. The most interesting of Kurzer’s tips reads, “Position your company as privacy-forward.” She argues that marketers would do well to market their GDPR compliance and advocate for privacy protection. She writes, “Simple efforts like publishing white papers or participating on panels about privacy subjects can bolster your brand and signal to your customers that you are serious about protecting their data.”

The Takeaway: Smart brands should not only do everything they can to comply with the EU’s data regulations, but would also benefit from using privacy-forward messaging in marketing.

Apple Unveils New Privacy Tools Ahead of EU Law,” The New York Times

Apple is taking action as a leading collector of user data and implementing major privacy changes ahead of May 25. The article from Reuters reads, “Apple has distanced itself from the likes of Google and Facebook who collect user data to serve them targeted advertising, saying its customers are not the product.” Apple ID holders will receive copies of all of their data and control what happens to it from there. Further, the privacy disclosure agreement shown to Apple users will be updated.

The Takeaway: Apple is providing users with more data autonomy in response to GDPR, and distancing themselves from the usage of data for marketing purposes.

A Little Point of View

GDPR is spelling big changes in how consumers feel about their data and how brands will be using it — and these EU regulations will affect how U.S. based organizations manage global customers. Interestingly, many industry voices target marketers as the primary field responsible for ensuring compliant collection of customer data. The major schools of thought are twofold: first, marketers who use data to target advertising and products to customers must ensure they do this without collecting any personal information; second, marketers should use GDPR as a marketing opportunity, and put forward pro-privacy messaging. In the next month, even if you’re a U.S. based customer, expect to look for updated privacy agreements, and targeted messaging. If you’re a marketer, now is the time to make sure that all of your vendors are also compliant. With SiteSpect you can choose not to capture user IP addresses, and are able to erase data as per the GDPR guidelines. As marketers take responsibility for data management practices, marketing tools will have to make these changes easy and accessible.

To learn more about SiteSpect, visit our website.

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Eric J. Hansen is the Founder and CTO of SiteSpect. He previously served as founder and CEO of the web development agency World Machine and has over 20 years experience in software development and project management. He is based in Boston.

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