Two battles are underway simultaneously in the area of user data privacy. One is a well-publicized regulatory battle. Through laws like 2018’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in Europe and 2020’s California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), governments are trying to rein in the “Wild West” ethos of online life and extend digital protections to all citizens. The second battle is less prominent but is in some ways more interesting — the fight to gain a competitive advantage by doing privacy better.

An indicative salvo: At the start of this month it would update its worldwide privacy policy to give users more detailed guidance about the data its advertisers might receive, in compliance with the provisions of the CCPA. It’s important to understand that there was

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