Lotame’s Chief Privacy Officer Amy Yeung on the Meaning of Data Privacy Day

Tomorrow is Data Privacy Day.

The global celebration started in 2008 in the US and Canada as an extension of Data Protection Day on January 28 in Europe commemorating the signing of Convention 108, which is the first and only binding international legal instrument protecting data privacy.

With millions of people across the world still in the dark about how companies collect, use and share their personal information, the Day is an opportunity for businesses to spread awareness while building trust with their consumers and audiences. Sounds like something that should be happening all year long, doesn’t it?

Privacy was a major theme last year as regulations like CCPA and CPRA were passed to give people more control over their data and Google and Apple started making major moves to provide people with even more privacy protections by taking away third-party tracking cookies and severely crippling IDFA’s ability to function as a tracking tool.

With that said, I caught up with Lotame’s General Counsel & Chief Privacy Officer Amy Yeung to talk about what Data Privacy Day means to her and how publishers and advertisers can work together to guarantee scale in a cookieless advertising environment while also ensuring consumers’ privacy.

Lynne d Johnson: What does Data Privacy Day mean to you?

Amy Yeung: Convention 108 turns 40 this year, and with every entry to a new decade, it offers a good time to reflect and rethink. The increased advocacy and education of data privacy worldwide deserves celebration, but, our policies are creating unintended outcomes.

The emphasis on consumer consent, while good intentioned and important, neglects to account for the operational aspects of data definitions, collection and combination. This is where we’ve lost the plot as a privacy community. Disclosures don’t change industry behavior nor do they make it easier for consumers. We need more voices in our debate, outside the legal community, and within and across businesses to make real change and do right by consumer privacy.

LdJ: We’re hearing a lot of publishers talk about adopting identity solutions as a third-party cookie replacement, but they’re afraid that buyers won’t follow suit. One of the major concerns about identity solutions is scale, especially for marketers. I know that Lotame recently released a privacy-first cookieless solution called Panorama ID. What does this solution bring to the table to alleviate these concerns for marketers?

AY: The digital advertising industry is solving for the loss of third-party cookies in a few ways: walled gardens, authenticated IDs, and non-authenticated IDs. Walled gardens and authenticated solutions are similar in that they require the consumer to register and log-in to a site, often with an email address.

Leaving walled gardens aside, the authenticated open web is estimated to account for 10-20% of all consumers by 2022. Publishers are making every effort to encourage visitors to register in order to view content, but the vast majority may be reluctant to do so. That leaves 80-90% of the open web which is not addressable with a first-party cookie.

This is the space where Lotame Panorama ID plays. Marketers will never reach the scale and accuracy they need based on 20% of consumers. With Lotame’s global footprint and push to be interoperable across platforms, channels, and other IDs, Panorama ID will provide the greatest coverage and scale.

LdJ: Since we’re talking about Data Privacy Day, let’s focus on consumers for a minute. Another concern is that all of these data privacy solutions will cause fragmentation, hampering the user experience as one travels across the web from site-to-site. What will it take for the industry to solve this?

AY: Great question. Lotame is 100% media-agnostic, which means our clients can work with any of their preferred tech or media platforms. We have integrations with all major activation platforms, including ad servers, BI tools, DSPs, SSPs, etc. Similarly, Panorama ID is built to be interoperable across platforms, channels, and other IDs.

A rising tide lifts all boats, as they say. We believe the ad industry needs to work together to create value and growth for everyone — marketers, agencies, publishers, and platforms. As you’ve seen with our recent announcement, we are aggressively pursuing Panorama ID adoption across the ecosystem, and there will be more news coming shortly.

Industry initiatives such as the Partnership for Responsible and Addressable Media, ESOMAR, and IAB Tech Lab and Project Rearc which we’ve been a member of since inception, are committed to cross-industry conversation and collaboration.