Opinion: Further Data Challenges Lie Ahead for the Advertising Industry


As advertisers look to find ways to create third-party cookies and issues related to online privacy continue, ads are expected to come up with new answers, writes Steven Roberts.

A recent report from the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) in the UK clearly shows that advertising and marketing companies will continue to face data security challenges in 2022.

The Commissioner’s comments, released at the end of November 2021, highlighted the impact of the UK Information Security Council on the use of personal information in the business world. It also highlighted technology such as real-time ordering, where most of the users are shared by thousands of advertisers. It called for a ‘meaningful response’, describing a complex system that is not clear and is a necessary transparency under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

These concerns are not unusual. Officials such as the Commission Nationale de l’Informatique et des Libertés (CNIL) in France have also reported on issues similar to those found, modified and distributed in accordance with AdTech’s latest policy. CNIL has supported this and taken action, and in recent weeks has paid € 150 million and € 60 million to Google and Facebook respectively. These penalties have been imposed because in CNIL’s view the planets do not allow their site users to ‘reject cookies as easily as they agree’. Web cookies can be accepted with a single click, while rejecting them requires action.

The Belgian Data Protection Authority (BPA), meanwhile, appears to have ruled that the Transparency and Consent Framework implemented by IAB Europe is illegal under the GDPR. The policy was developed by the corporation in response to the Act, with the aim of ‘assisting printers, professional vendors, organizations and advertisers to achieve this. [GDPR’s] visibility and user choice ‘.

Phishing scams and third-party cookies

There are also other things that are played out. Experts such as Dr Johnny Ryan and Dr Augustine Fou have highlighted the high level of fraud that can occur in technology such as software advertising. A recent study by the Association of National Advertisers found that 70% of online advertising revenue (approximately $ 140 billion of $ 200 billion) did not reach consumers. Lost due to a variety of factors including “advertising money, fraudulent, invisible … and unknown money”. A similar study PwC in the UK revealed that “for every £ 1 spent by an advertiser using a natural program, about half that amount …

Browsers including Firefox and Safari have noticed, blocking the use of third-party cookies on their platforms. ‘Dead Death’ will be heard when Google Chrome, the world’s largest browser, launches a similar program in 2023. Based on this, Google and other vendors are looking for other ways to target consumers, without the need for cookies. Current ideas, such as FLoC, seem as complex and ambiguous as they want to change. Meanwhile, big retailers are realizing the opportunity to take advantage of their many first-party banks, Tesco and Boots are recently launching a platform for advertisers.

Impact of ICO Recommendations

Irish advertisers can rightly ask what the ICO report will contain, following the UK’s recent release from the EU. The results can be felt in the following ways:

  1. It also puts increasing pressure on the current advertising environment, from one of Europe’s largest economies to the advertising market.
  2. It retains the interest that European regulators are striving to closely monitor the use of personal resources in online advertising.
  3. It makes online advertising more and more obsessed with law enforcement agencies and law enforcement agencies, which raises concerns that their corporate businesses may be violating GDPR and ePivivacy rules.

The last point is very interesting. Although advertisers have long recognized the value of alternatives to third-party cookies, they have avoided much of the criticism from online advertising groups. This is probably due to the complexity and lack of technical software.

As we move towards 2022, it is clear that business transformation is expected to increase. For operational reasons, vendors need to find alternative ways to use third-party cookies.

In addition, systemic and real-time advertising continues to be closely monitored by European data protection authorities. As marketers look for alternatives, the two emerging systems seem to be heading back to business-related marketing and the growth of first-party data, with the result being encouraged by major retailers like Tesco that offer new platforms to advertisers to follow their customers. In the case of a third party cookie, it remains to be seen whether the technical platforms will be able to find a more sophisticated transition process that delivers powerful advertising results and tackles fraud and privacy.

Steven Roberts is a senior businessman at Griffith College. A Certified Data Protection Officer, co-founder of the Chartered Institute of Marketing and Vice-Chair of the Compliance Institute’s Data Protection and Information Security Working Group, is the Secretary Data Security for Advertisers: A Helpful Guide.


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