GDPR: Publishers and martech will rely on each other

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By now, everyone’s calendar should have a big red circle around the date of May 25, 2018, when the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) goes into effect. And with 12 months to go, there is still just enough time to complete GDPR readiness projects ahead of the enforcement date.

I’ve posited loud and often that martech writ large will be uniquely impacted by the regulation, and I’m cautiously optimistic that the innovators in this critical sector will set the tone for the rest of the digital industry with their own GDPR compliance efforts.

Martech’s place in the GDPR

Martech underpins the entire digital economy, driving critical advertising revenue vital to many organizations, and it is responsible for millions of jobs in both the EU and the US. All of this is possible when data is collected and used the proper way, but for all of this to continue, the sector must up its game and make sure it can comply with the GDPR.

The regulation applies to any organization processing the data of EU citizens, and as one of the most prescriptive privacy laws in existence, it will become the de facto global standard to which international businesses will need to conform. Martech should embrace the GDPR as a once-in-a-generation opportunity. Those companies that do will thrive. Those that don’t won’t survive. It’s as binary as that.

A shifting publisher-provider dynamic

The market is shifting in preparation for the regulation. A number of large publishers are currently establishing digital governance programs that require all martech companies operating on their sites or serving their ads to comply with the GDPR, and I’m already seeing contractual revisions to this effect. Where these prominent publishers lead, others will soon follow — and this trend will spread across the martech industry, becoming a standard cost of doing business.

If publishers demand their partners — and any downstream intermediaries pulled onto the publisher site — contract that they are in compliance with the GDPR, this translates as a new tax on martech in the form of added internal compliance costs. Companies will need to undertake their own internal privacy impact assessments, perform regular data protection reviews, understand and control all the data they collect and have a designated Data Protection Officer (DPO) to make sure good GDPR hygiene is practiced.

[Read the full article on MarTech Today.]

Some opinions expressed in this article may be those of a guest author and not necessarily Marketing Land. Staff authors are listed here.

About The Author

As Chief Privacy Officer & VP of Legal Affairs at Evidon Inc., Todd Ruback oversees all internal privacy and legal matters. He has developed the company’s privacy training program, privacy by design initiative and also oversees the company’s legal department. He works with many privacy regulatory bodies and thought leaders to ensure the company’s products and services exceed expectations. His privacy certifications include CIPP-US/E, CIPT. Prior to coming to Evidon in 2012 he headed the Privacy & Technology Practice at the law firm of DiFrancesco, Bateman in Warren, NJ and was the President of the New Jersey Bar Association’s Privacy Section.


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