It’s been almost a year since the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) went into effect. The goal of the regulation? To help EU citizens control their personal data and how it’s collected, shared and used. But the sweeping nature of the GDPR means that it’s not just EU-based websites and technologies that fall under its remit, but any that might potentially be accessed by an EU citizen.
The GDPR’s roll-out represented a major change for tech companies, data brokers and marketers, who had previously had free rein over the data that they collect. They’d never before had to disclose what data they were storing, what they were using it for, or why they wanted it.
But as any modern-day marketer knows, data is crucial for doing business. Sufficient user data gives us the insights we need to target our campaigns, optimize our sales funnels and respond both reactively and proactively to customer needs. There’s a reason that modern-day marketing is built on the intersection of data and AI.
Under the GDPR, significant updates have been made around marketing-oriented tools such as website cookies and newsletter sign-ups/opt-outs, which collect customer data for marketing purposes. Under the GDPR, clarity around exactly what opting-in means is a must, and so is expressly asking a user’s permission. Gone are the days where filling in a form meant tacit permission to sign up for a newsletter, and sales tactics are changing accordingly.
But staying compliant involves more than a customer’s consent to share their data. Companies have had to rework their systems to ensure that it’s clear where data is stored, which data reflects sensitive or personally identifiable information, and who has access to it. Other mandatories include explaining how exactly an AI will use an individual’s data, and why – and the right to opt out of AI-driven decision making in favor of human adjudication (for “significant” outcomes, like a loan).
In the meantime, every company has the potential to differentiate by being really good at marketing in an environment with restricted data. That is a real business opportunity.
Source: Redmore, S. (2019, May 13). Privacy, a Year Later: How the GDPR Has Affected AI-Powered Marketing. Marketing Land.
Editor’s Note: The author points out that while GDPR may seem like a burden, as companies rebuild trust with consumers, it will become a sustainable approach fostering both innovation and accountability.