Meta has released a report on the evolution of data privacy rules in digital environments.
Produced in partnership with Deloitte, the study “A Marketer’s Guide to Privacy-Enhancing Technologies” provides details on current demands and possible changes related to user privacy.
In addition, it provides suggestions on how companies can prepare for the new data sharing and storage policies.
The report also offers important insights into how to optimize data collection and use without losing the potential to expand your audience.
I have selected some that are essential for any marketer, and will share them in this article.
Privacy Enhancing Technologies: The New Allies of Data Privacy
The future of data privacy is the Privacy-Enhancing Technologies (PETs).
PETs are technologies that allow you to collect, process, analyze and share information while preserving data privacy and confidentiality.
According to the report, digital advertising ecosystems have adopted PETs because these technologies allow for increased user data protection without causing friction in the consumer journey.
Let me explain: personal data is valuable information that companies can use to identify behavior profiles and look for opportunities to present you products or services in a personalized way.
However, data collection requires user consent, which can disrupt the purchase journey, as consumers need to authorize the use of their data in exchange for what the company has to offer (content, experiences or products, for example). A practical example is filling out a form on a landing page to receive an e-book at your email address.
In this scenario, gradual but significant changes have been taking place for some time. One of them is the end of third-party cookies. Marketers will need to readjust to collect the data they need while respecting the boundaries of their audience’s consent and privacy.
And this is where PETs come in: these technologies provide robust and reliable protection if combined with good data governance, and they are a great option for digital strategies as they avoid rigid processes of collecting and consenting to information.
The report also details the spectra of data privacy within an organization and where PETs fit in this context:
On the one hand, we have the organizational spectrum, where data privacy falls on company operations related to governance, primary data consent, pseudo anonymization, among others. On the other side are the PETs, which involve techniques and technologies of data protection.
The report emphasizes that it is important to combine the two spectrums (organizational and technological) for more complete data protection.
Advice for marketers: How to prepare for the future of digital privacy
Implementing privacy-enhancing technologies is and will continue to be a challenge for businesses.
The report brings a reflection on the difficulty in adopting innovative and intelligent solutions in a global recession. The most logical path for companies is to continue investing in the traditional tactics that generate the most return on investment.
I highlight this excerpt from the report that summarizes this challenge and signals a first step towards overcoming it:
“Data privacy can be viewed by organizations as more of a barrier than an enabler. This perception may cause brands to shy away from contributing to privacy solutions. This narrative can only be changed with education.”
Indeed, building a safe environment for data management requires more than mere generic knowledge about the available technologies and resources: a deeper understanding of the importance of the topic is required, and this can only be done with education campaigns within organizations.
Marketers play a key role in this process. Our objectives will remain the same (attract, educate, engage and convert potential customers), but dealing with a large amount of data will become increasingly complex and challenging.
Here I highlight the guide’s recommendations to prepare for this scenario.
1. Invest in data privacy education
Knowing what PETs are and their importance is the first step in creating a secure data environment. Everyone within a company (from the intern to the board) must have an understanding of data privacy strategies and their relationship to brand positioning.
2. Understand where your business is today
Here comes a fundamental question: “is your company aware of the changes in data privacy rules?” In addition, knowing what data the organization uses, how it is collected and protected will determine the next steps in confidentiality strategies.
3. Make your data strategy as collaborative as your business
Building and applying a data privacy strategy should not just be the responsibility of the teams that are most impacted by it, such as Marketing and Product. Having a synergy between these groups and those from IT and legal, for example, will make privacy actions more effective.
4. Enhance your data privacy and consent features
Ensuring data privacy goes far beyond a consent text on web page forms. Data governance, privacy policies and investment in technology are the necessary resources to build a reliable system for collecting and managing information in the digital environment.
5. Make partnerships and experiments
To build a data protection architecture using PETs, it is necessary to rely on a specialized consultancy. Testing and experimenting with privacy-enhancing solutions is also recommended. In addition, benchmarking against other companies can be advantageous to understand how they protect their data and that of third parties, adapting what makes sense for their reality.
In a complex context of information management, the main challenge of digital marketing is to reach new customers and create increasingly personalized experiences, combined with efficient data governance.
The PETs point the way, as detailed in the Meta report, but it is necessary to invest in education within companies about the seriousness with which data privacy must be treated in organizations. The more solutions to optimize data privacy in a company, the lower the chances of dealing with information leakage crises.“Prevention is better than cure,” right?
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