This year has sparked consumer awakening leading to hyper-awareness of how personal data is being used, and, perhaps more so, how it continues to be misused and exploited. When data is accessed and used correctly, and with appropriate security measures, transparency, and overall good governance, the information is valuable for marketers and consumers alike– according to a 2018 report from Epsilon research, 80 percent of consumers are more likely to do business with a company if it offers a personalized ad experience. Here at Blis, we continue to ensure we are acting in the best interest of our clients and the public when it comes to data. We call on our peers to do the same.
Privacy and Security
Every company’s objective should be to ensure that the consumer always feels in control of where and how their personal information is collected, stored, and used. At Blis, we not only comply with GDPR but also work with the IAB Transparency and Consent Framework, registering as part of the Global Vendor List (GVL). In the UK, specifically, we are also registered with the Information Commissioner’s Office to be able to legally process personal data.
We have also implemented AdChoices to provide consumers in 30+ markets control over how we are using their data, giving consumers the right to withdraw consent every time Blis serves an ad to their device. We comply with the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) and do not collect any data from those devices that have selected Do Not Track (DNT) or Limited Ad Tracking (LAT).
Privacy isn’t just about control over personal data. It also means the assurance of that data once a third party has it in the data storage process. To maintain this security, Blis is certified with TrustArc to ensure full compliance across our data and storage processes.
Businesses need to change how they approach and talk about data, and companies must be much clearer about their opt-in policies. This is not solely to meet GDPR and other future regulations like the California Consumer Privacy Act in the US, but also because being clear about how data is used is imperative.
Until the US enacts more widespread regulation, it is up to individual companies to make their own policies. Doing this before you have to not only builds consumer confidence and goodwill, but also will prevent companies from having to scramble once laws are set.
Companies must ensure that the data solutions they provide are sourced and applied responsibly so consumers always feel in control of where and how their personal information is collected, stored, and used.
While there is a lot of talk about transparency in the industry, there is not a lot of action. At Blis we are committed to being one of the most trusted and transparent partners. To start, we developed a practical application of blockchain to audit how data is collected, where it comes from, permissions vis a vis GDPR, and where that data goes. Essentially it is a 100% transparent, factually correct audit of everything we’re doing.
Transparency is paramount to gain and keep customers’ trust, and, in turn, earn their business. With our Blis Smart Scale technology we cannot view individual level data–we don’t even have the technology to do so–we only seek to understand groups of people in public places. Further, the advertisers we work with are looking to reach customers in the thousands or millions and are not interested in individual data.
In today’s climate, it’s clear that businesses need to work even harder to gain and keep consumer trust than ever before. An emphasis on, and corporate commitment to, transparency and privacy is paramount. As we have seen time and time again this year, consumers are demanding it.
To do our part, we are constantly working with our partners and customers to educate (and learn from) each other as we reshape the the market together. By changing how we approach and talk about data across the board (starting with clearer, simpler language opt-in policies), our industry, and our lives, will be better for it.