Addressing Privacy Concerns at a Global Level

Global Privacy and Ad Operations

The issue of privacy – the proper handling of sensitive consumer data – is not new. Over the years, the amount of attention we focus on addressing privacy concerns ebbs and flows based more on the political climate than it does our interest in putting the problem behind us by demonstrating it’s important to us.
Perhaps this is changing. At OPS, AdMonsters had a panel focused on where operations fits into the privacy discussion. Several themes emerged from the panel (summarized here) including the fact that privacy is a global concern but is being handled at a regional and sometimes local level. This makes privacy a complex issue that will only grow for operations leaders and one they cannot ignore. “Privacy stuff is real. Despite confusion, there’s no doubt that advertisers/publishers need to be on top of it – they need a plan,” said Scott Meyer, CEO of Evidon in an interview with AdMonsters.

Evidon has two recent announcements – one related to the buy side (included below), one related to the sell side (link below) –  that look to try to address privacy concerns at a global level. Everyone in the ecosystem must understand that on the Internet, they have at some level a global brand and global customers. It’s therefore important to make sure consumer data is handled properly from a global perspective. That’s quite difficult to do, considering that even within Europe which has the EU ePrivacy Directive, countries have multiple interpretations of the directive causing many companies to freeze on moving forward with industry lead self regulation initiatives.

The key for self regulation to work is to prevent surprise on the part of the consumer. When consumers for the most part understand how data is used in online advertising, they understand the exchange. It’s when they are surprised with mishandling of data or lack of transparency that they react negatively.

Bringing transparency – with the help of the OBA compliant icon – is one step in that direction. Ad Operations teams however struggle to avoid notice ‘conflict’ – when multiple parties try to set the icon. This is best addressed when the brand itself manages the icon according to Scott Meyer. Implementation by brand will reduce the number of creative changes and eliminate multiple calls for the icon.

But notifying consumers within creatives is only one aspect of the privacy concern. Media owners along with their partners will often set cookies without an ad being served. This practice is one that should be made transparent to consumers and notification given.

Lastly there is the issue of handling the data internally within companies and making sure that consumers are protected from any personally identifiable information from getting into the wrong hands.

The fact is proper handling and usage of data from beginning to end now needs to become a core competency of the industry if we have any hope of operating as we do today. We applaud these efforts to move privacy from a ‘cost’ to an ‘opportunity’ as well as make it easier for ad operations to seamlessly integrate privacy into their processes.

Akamai and Evidon Enter Into Exclusive Agreement to Enable the Dynamic Insertion of Privacy Notice Across Websites

VivaKi and Evidon Announce New UK and European Partnership

London, 12 October 2011: VivaKi, one of the leading media and digital communications organisations in the world, today announced an agreement with Evidon to power compliance with the EU ePrivacy Directive in the UK and throughout Europe. This agreement extends the US Preferred Provider agreement between the two companies.

This partnership enables all clients of VivaKi agencies, which include Starcom MediaVest Group, ZenithOptimedia, Razorfish and Digitas, to deploy in-ad notice including the IAB EU’s AdChoices Icon programme. The icon is executed seamlessly via the agency to give consumers the highest degree of transparency and control available on the market.

Evidon is the world’s first and largest provider of privacy and compliance solutions for digital media, and creates a platform for companies to comply with the European ePrivacy Directive, industry self-regulatory programmes, and to audit and manage website cookies. VivaKi is the leading media and digital agency in the US self-regulatory programme, delivering billions of in-ad notice impressions served on behalf of their clients, and this agreement will affect a broad range of companies across a variety of verticals including automotive, finance, retail, CPG and pharmaceutical.

Marco Bertozzi, EMEA Managing Director for the VivaKi Nerve Center, comments: “We have been using Evidon’s solutions in the US for some time and our clients are pleased with the results. We are now looking to strengthen and expand our strategic relationship, as part of our commitment to ensure best practice in the area of online privacy. VivaKi is a strong supporter of privacy controls and we support our clients’ desire to empower consumers to make informed decisions about their information use online, while complying with the ePrivacy Directive”.

CEO of Evidon, Scott Meyer, adds: “This decision by VivaKi to extend the agreement with Evidon into the UK and Europe further underlines our leading market position and track record of exceptional delivery of results. Evidon works in tandem with VivaKi’s agencies and the VivaKi Nerve Center’s Audience On Demand team to educate and implement the OBA solution for clients in the US, and we are excited to expand this support to the European market. We look forward to delivering privacy and compliance solutions on behalf of their extensive list of clients”.