Anyone who’s attended an advertising conference in the last year has heard a speaker declaim that viewers prefer targeted ads because they deliver relevant content. But anyone who’s actually spoken to viewers knows that in reality they find the practice creepy. Recent articles have exposed to the public just how much data online advertisers have on them, leaving shoppers feeling stalked. The ad industry faces a consumer privacy crisis in the year ahead, so what’s it going to do about it?
There’s good news on the horizon, according to Video Advertising Trends, a report recently issued by video ad tech company SpotX. Ad tech companies are clueing into new ways of identifying consumers that still respect privacy. The goal is creating relevant ads that viewers want to view, without crossing a line.
“Today, there is land grab for which identity management solution will become ubiquitous,” notes Eric Shiffman, senior product marketing manager at SpotX. “Until a consumer can log in to one place and manage their settings across their digital footprint, we won’t have true identity management or universal privacy and opt-out protection. There are several major ID initiatives in the works, such as DigiTrust and The Trade Desk’s Unified ID, which will help us get there—though there are more that are focused on the opt-out, including Digital Advertising Alliance’s Ad Choices.
“Moving forward, as an industry, we should prove we take privacy seriously by showing consumers the benefits of honest and intentional data sharing—such as reduced ad load and more relevant content—and proactively police ourselves when issues are discovered.”
One piece of legislation that will drive the discussion forward is the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), which goes into effect on January 1, 2020. Expect to hear a lot about this, as it will give new rights to consumers of any businesses that operate in California, including the right to know about any data collected on them, the right to stop the sale of personal information, and the right to information about third-party sharing. It will impact more Americans than Europe’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) did, and might just be the first step in creating nationwide legislation.
“The CCPA will change TV advertising because almost any individualized advertising behavior on any device is now protected by the law,” Shiffman explains. “As the future of TV advertising becomes more audience-driven in nature, the law will only apply more. The law greatly expands the definition for personal data which includes unique identifiers and IP addresses, and specifically calls out ‘internet or other electronic network activity information, including but not limited to, browsing history, search history, and information regarding a consumer’s interaction with a website, application, or advertisement.’ It also means that any campaign targeting with geolocation data or audience segments with protected class characterizations are subject to the law.”
For more on consumer privacy and much more, download SpotX’s 2019 Video Advertising Trends for free (registration required).