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Paul Röhrig in an interview on GDPR and privacy. The status quo and the outlook!

The digitally-enabled advertising industry faces the challenge of dealing with confidential and personal data on different levels.

In summary, it's about GDPR, the European regulation called "General Data Protection Regulation" and Privacy, the privacy of us internet users.

Data protection and privacy regulations reduce the available reach for data-driven programmatic campaigns by over 47%*.

C: Can you tell us what all falls under GDPR?

PAUL: GDPR is the regulation of data that identifies individuals. The common abbreviation for personal data is PII or Personal Identifiable Information, which includes IP address, geolocation, device ID and email address, among others.

C: What does the regulation mean for Switzerland? Will there be a toned-down version of GDPR?

PAUL: The data just mentioned cannot be used without the consent of the user or owner. From the user's point of view, a perfectly logical situation. From the perspective of the industry, which has built a lot of energy, cleverness, investment, business models, education and information architecture around PII's over the past few years, a strong disillusionment.

Apple's control of advertising vendors further reduces traditional targeting opportunities.*

Adding to this emerging challenge is the increasing restriction on the placement and use of 3rd party cookies by browsers. Safari and Firefox (combined market share approx. 40%) suppress the setting of these cookies by default, i.e. already in the basic settings. On the other hand, this causes a significant decrease in the relevance of the advertising displayed to the user and thus less effective and, due to higher scattering losses, less efficient campaigns.

Blocking 3rd party cookies, the most widely used detection method is data-driven and programmatic campaigns so far reduce the available reach by 80%*.

C: What consequences is this triggering in the industry?

PAUL: A look at industry leader Google shows that they are also phasing out 3rd party cookies (Google Announcement 2019). Google has rung in the enforcement with SAME SITE UPDATE. Each cookie set must be provided with an additional parameter, whether it may be used in a first-party or 3rd party context or also whether cross-site tracking will be applied.

C: Are there different approaches in the different umbrella spaces?

PAUL: In the EU, the Transparency and Consent Framework TCF of IAB Europe has become established. IAB Switzerland recommends following this standard. And with the new TCF Standard 2.0, Google is also joining the standard recommended by the IAB.

C: What does this standard include and what are its benefits of it?

PAUL: The standard was needed to:

Provide advertisers, ad space providers, and agencies with clear, structured, and universally accepted guidance that ensures all tracking, tagging, campaign, and analytics activities are compliant with GDPR.

Ensure the collection, reading and exchange of a user's consent status among the players in the value chain (publisher, advertiser, vendor of DSP, SSP, ad server and agencies) within one standard.

C: How can users ensure/define their consent status?

PAUL: CMPs - Consent Management Platforms - play a decisive role in these processes. The platforms process the user's consent and offer suitable UIs - user interfaces for websites and eShops - through which users communicate their consent.

C: What is the user's role in setting consent?

PAUL: Consent can be defined individually by the user:

Globally for all trackers,

for specific purposes (analytics, advertising, display and personalization of content)

for specific providers

C: Does this mean that the era of cookies is over?

PAUL: No, Consent Management platforms also work with cookies, which is allowed by case law because the purpose of the use is to implement GDPR. Thereby 1st and 3rd party cookies are set - depending on the application (global or service-specific) to manage users and their consent.

However, since in many browsers the setting of 3rd party cookies is suppressed by default, this solution again faces a challenge.

C: Because it needs new consent?

PAUL: Yes, without consent, the following campaign optimizations are already no longer possible:

  • Frequency Tracking

  • geo-targeting

  • Affinity targeting

  • Re-targeting

  • Look-A-Likes

  • Viewability Tracking

C: How can advertisers and their representatives respond to this?

PAUL: As a representative for standardization in the advertising market, the IAB communicates that it is looking for technologies. So far, there is no solution.

However, there is another movement, the Publisher Alliances, which are trying to completely eliminate the 3rd party cookie via a cross-platform login, because here the inference can then be made to the registered user themselves.

C: What will happen in the future and where does Converto stand?

PAUL: The goal is to have a scalable solution that enables efficient and effective targeting.

So if user data is no longer allowed to be stored, analyzed and used for close-meshed campaigns, then the focus turns to the user's environment - i.e. the situation or context he/she is in at the time.

This is how we at Converto find the way away from cookies to the target.

We already work with fingerprinting and avoid the problem of 3rd party cookie restrictions, while adhering to all GDPR regulations and ensuring stable and efficient targeting and campaign management.

Regardless of the developments related to GDPR, we have been enabling intelligent and data-driven targeting of "non-addressable users" for quite some time. We are in the alpha phase with the implementation. We would be happy to discuss any questions about this solution in a personal meeting.

It could be very inspiring for some advertisers and customers to get a head start here in a very simple way, while others lose a lot of time and energy searching for the best cookie solution. We can only recommend you to test us.

As Converto, we are an official registered vendor of the IAB Transparent and Consent Framework, providing the basis for advertisers to conduct advertising activities with us in a recognized environment in a GDPR compliant manner.

Learn more from Paul or get in touch with our team. Get in touch.



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