In the face of GDPR and the California Consumer Privacy Act, it would be natural to think that the usage of 3rd party data would take a hit. However, that does not appear to be the case. In a joint report from the IAB/Winterberry Group released in late 2018, those concerns about privacy legislation do not seem to be deterring advertisers from using 3rd party data and other various infrastructures used to manage and analyze the data. They have projected that the use of 3rd party data will increase by 17.5% over the prior year.
What this means for marketers: For most digital campaigns, the use of 3rd party data to reach a more qualified audience is commonplace. This is especially true in programmatic environments. That won’t change. What will change is how the data is treated. The concerns over personally identifiable information and the related legislation have already had some impacts within the digital media ecosystem. However, more are to come as the industry collectively reevaluates its practices. To put it simply, there is still plenty of time. The California law is over a year away and still highly likely to change. The added benefit of being able to observe the impacts of GDPR in Europe also better informs advertisers about how to manage their use of data in the current regulatory climate. While the onus for most of the changes will be on our digital publishers/DSPs/data providers, Harmelin has already focused on using only verified, industry-leading data partners as well as establishing new processes to better protect consumer data when receiving 1st party data. During 2018, Google also whitelisted Harmelin to continue to use these 3rd party data segments with their DSP as part of their ongoing efforts to better protect consumer privacy at scale.