This article is part of a VB special issue. Read the full series here: How Data Privacy Is Transforming Marketing.
For more than two decades, the holy grail of marketing has been focused on one-on-one connections between brands and shoppers. Companies that previously used television commercials to target the masses raced to take advantage of technologies like third-party cookies that tracked consumers across the internet — sweeping up vast swaths of easy-access data in order to serve precise ads to potential customers who might be interested in that very thing at that very moment.
Now, the marketing landscape is in the midst of another near-total transformation, thanks to a growing focus — by consumers, regulators and Big Tech companies — on data privacy.
By 2023, 65% of the world’s population will have modern privacy regulations protecting personal data, according to Gartner, while only 10% had those protections in 2010. The EU’s GDPR and California’s CCPA have led the way. Meanwhile, in late June, the Energy and Commerce Committee formally introduced the American Data Privacy and Protection Act (ADPPA) to the U.S. House, marking a major step forward for congressional data privacy negotiations.
It’s getting real
“I think the wake-up call is here,” Anthony Katsur, CEO of IAB Tech Lab, told VentureBeat.
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IAB Tech Lab is a nonprofit consortium with a global member community, created to develop foundational digital media technology and standards. “The industry is starting to react to the fact that this is real, and it’s going to become more real with real penalties, real fines, real ramifications for your business,” he said.
Beauty retailer Sephora is one company that is already feeling the heat, with a $1.2 million settlement with the State of California announced last month.
Meanwhile, third-party cookie …