What we’ve been reading: GDPR & its implications

It’s been a hectic few months in digital publishing, with data privacy being the most hotly debated topic following the Cambridge Analytica scandal and the EU’s GDPR coming into force back in May. Now that the dust has started to settle a bit, it’s possible to discern a few trends:


  • Programmatic advertising is experiencing a ‘back to the future’ moment, with long neglected methods of reaching people staging a comeback. Contextual and publication-based targeting are increasingly interesting to brands trying to reach people that don’t consent to being tracked. Digiday has written more extensively on the subject: https://digiday.com/media/personalization-diminished-gdpr-era-contextual-targeting-making-comeback/
  • Of the major tech companies, Google’s approach to GDPR has ruffled the most feathers. By initially refusing to adhere to standards set by the International Advertising Board (IAB) and forcing publishers to cut down on the number of advertising partners they work with, the impression among many in the industry was that Google was trying to use GDPR to strengthen its own (already rather dominant) position in the advertising chain. This Adage article from April sums it up: http://adage.com/article/digital/google-gdpr-force-a-hard-choice-publishers/313305/.
  • With GDPR placing a strong emphasis on users actively consenting to having their data used by publishers and advertisers, getting users to agree is of paramount importance. To succeed in this, several Consent Management Platforms (CMPs) have emerged that claim to offer best practices. Some major publishers have even built their own CMPs and opened them up to others. German publishing conglomerate Axel Springer is one of them: https://digiday.com/media/axel-springer-counters-google-consent-management-tool/