By Ryan Bopp7/12/2023

The Rise in Data Privacy and Its Impact on Your Brand

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When the internet was first introduced, it was a bold new frontier. A Wild West without rules and regulations. Only a few short years ago, the general public learned companies were collecting and selling data with every click consumers made. And right now, there is heightened public awareness and scrutiny about data privacy and security concerns due to leading social media companies, like Facebook and TikTok, facing backlash on how they use and share personal data online.  

In 2018, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg was called to address Congress about a data-sharing scandal with Cambridge Analytica, a company that bought data from Facebook to target political advertising. This marked one of the first times when a collection of data by companies was questioned as unethical. And more recently, in 2023, we witnessed TikTok CEO Shou Chew testify before Congress regarding TikTok’s adherence to data privacy and security. With more and more companies being scrutinized about data collection, we know this isn’t going away anytime soon.  

With creative thinking and new strategies being implemented, Brunner is partnering with clients to find ethical ways to store and gather data. But staying educated on the latest privacy and security laws, rules and trends is paramount. Below we walk through the laws in effect currently and the impact they will have on your brand.  

Stricter data privacy laws go into effect 

Within the last few years of data trials, some laws have been created to protect users’ personal identifiable information, known as PII. For instance, in parts of Europe, there are strict data rules that were implemented in 2018 with the introduction of the General Data Protection Regulation. The regulation strictly governs how companies and organizations can use, process, and store PII.  

However, there are no U.S. federal laws in place to regulate how a company or organization can gather data, leaving room for each state to decide on its own. As a result, only California, Colorado, Connecticut, Utah, and Virginia have detailed data privacy laws. Specifically, California leads the charge in the U.S. with the following laws:  

  • California Consumer Privacy Act – This act protects the residents’ rights to ask businesses to disclose the type of information collected, why they are collecting data, and the source of the data.  
  • California Privacy Rights Act  – This act builds upon the CCPA, giving residents the ability to prevent businesses from sharing personal data, correct inaccuracies in the data, and prevent companies from using sensitive data, such as race and sexual orientation. 

There are no U.S. federal laws in place to regulate how a company or organization can gather data, leaving room for each state to decide on its own.

What is changing in personal data collection? 

As laws are becoming more prevalent, gathering PII via cookies and pixels has become a bit more complicated for digital advertising. We briefly summarize the current rules and laws impacting data collection below.  

Cookies — small text files with small pieces of data, like a username of password, that are used to identify your computer as you use a computer network. When entering a new site, we’ve all been presented with a consent form to accept cookies, as the CPRA requires opt-in for the use of cookies on a website. However, some browsers such as Google have made the decision to remove cookies altogether to better comply with new laws set in place. This new rule is scheduled to take effect in the latter half of 2024. 

Pixels — track users across the web. From the moment the ad is clicked, the pixel begins collecting information, such as the type of browser used, the time the pixel was activated or the IP address. This information provides marketers with valuable data in placing future, targeted ads. The CPRA allows users to block websites from selling or sharing their data to third parties, such as marketers. And without the data garnered from pixels, it’s harder to measure how ad placements are performing. analytics of the success of ad placements can be diminished.  

How will data privacy requirements ultimately impact your brand? 

There’s no doubt the changes in how companies collect and store data will continue to shift, impacting how you target audiences with your marketing campaigns. Without access to cookies and pixels, the data analysis and optimization will alter. Our strategies have already shifted into looking at creative ways of building first-party data within CRM databases, but it’s extremely important to stay on top of the latest rules and regulations to remain ethically compliant. 

But we all still want to see marketing results. By seeking out an experienced marketing agency, like Brunner, we can help you navigate the policies and find a solution to meet your marketing and privacy needs. We can help you find a happy place between honoring customers’ privacy and launching successful marketing campaigns.  

Reach out if you would like to learn more about how Brunner can help your company find that happy balance. 

If you would like to learn more about Brunner’s POV on a cookieless world, read the latest article here

Ryan Bopp is associate director, integrated planning, and has 10+ years of experience in display and social media strategy. His time at Brunner has focused largely on testing and learning the next emerging channels, such as OTT/CTV/OLG, Marketplaces/eCommerce and social media platforms. He has worked across a variety of verticals, spanning retail, e-commerce, higher education, finance, health care, legal and home improvement. Prior to joining Brunner, Ryan spent several years at Merkle developing his skills for cross-channel digital media planning and buying. He has a BA in Business from the University of Pittsburgh.