What is the GDPR, and why should martech care?
Columnist Todd Ruback discusses the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), a new EU regulation meant to protect its citizens' personal data. If you serve customers or have audience members in Europe, read on to learn how this affects you.
Privacy is a complex issue, and opinions on the subject often depend on the perspective it is viewed from. I’m a passionate privacy officer, and among my peers, the conversation tends to focus on privacy regulations. But as the company I work for provides technology to the digital advertising community, I live with one foot in in the marketing world, too.
While martech is booming, the ad hoc growth of the industry — sliced and diced by countless intermediaries from demand-side platforms to ad exchanges, all performing specific technical functions — has created a lack of transparency.
The industry is already subject to suspicion from consumers for using mysterious and magical technologies that enable advertisers to serve them relevant advertising for products they are looking for, at precisely the right time. While the public may be wary of practices they do not understand, they do enjoy the benefit martech creates: the ability to freely roam the internet without continually clashing into digital paywalls.
In addition to public suspicion, the fragmented race to serve relevant ads to the right audience has also caught the attention of data protection authorities. This is reflected in the EU’s massive General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which comes into effect on May 25, 2018.