Proliferating privacy laws, changes in data gathering worry marketers: IAB report

Consumers don’t see value of sharing data and marketers want a “one size fits all” privacy law, the IAB finds.

Marketing faces headwinds from fragmented privacy legislation and the inconsistent phase-out of third-party cookies, according to an IAB report about privacy and addressability for the digital ad industry released today.

“While Google’s decision to postpone the depreciation of third-party cookies until 2024 may feel like a reprieve, the industry is far from off the hook,” said IAB CEO David Cohen in a statement. “The industry is already operating with significantly less signal given the changes by Apple, Firefox and others.”

The report, IAB State of Data 2022 (Part II), features findings that came out of interviews with senior-level marketers at brands, agencies and publishers. Among the issues raised:

  • Complying with the different privacy requirements of different state laws is making data collection and use increasingly unwieldy. Businesses want single law covering the entire nation, but that’s been rejected by Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA).

  • First-party datasets from logged-in “known” audiences only represent about 20% of consumers, leaving the remaining 80% less reachable and addressable.

  • Consumers are still largely confused about why they should disclose their data, even as they expect relevant ads which depend on the use of that data.

  • Privacy legislation is likely to increase the advantages of big publishers over small ones. Very few respondents at publishers said they had the budget to pursue data enrichment and collection tools needed to compete with larger firms.

Read next: 3 things to know about the American Data Protection and Privacy Act

Why we care. Consumers’ reticence to disclose data is usually framed as a failure of communication by marketers. However, the complicated, ever-changing legal landscape across multiple states doesn’t help. Nor can the fact that most companies aren’t yet in compliance with those laws. Trust is everything in business. Without it, people think that getting relevant ads is the result of being spied on. With it, they’re more interested in the offering than why they’re seeing it.

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About The Author

Chris Wood draws on over 15 years of reporting experience as a B2B editor and journalist. At DMN, he served as associate editor, offering original analysis on the evolving marketing tech landscape. He has interviewed leaders in tech and policy, from Canva CEO Melanie Perkins, to former Cisco CEO John Chambers, and Vivek Kundra, appointed by Barack Obama as the country’s first federal CIO. He is especially interested in how new technologies, including voice and blockchain, are disrupting the marketing world as we know it. In 2019, he moderated a panel on “innovation theater” at Fintech Inn, in Vilnius. In addition to his marketing-focused reporting in industry trades like Robotics Trends, Modern Brewery Age and AdNation News, Wood has also written for KIRKUS, and contributes fiction, criticism and poetry to several leading book blogs. He studied English at Fairfield University, and was born in Springfield, Massachusetts. He lives in New York.