It’s Time to Do Better on Data Privacy

Self-regulation won’t cut it anymore

Data regulation is all over the news these days. GDPR enforcement is ramping up in the EU. California’s CCPA goes into effect at the start of 2020. Consumer privacy issues are in the hot seat and future federal regulation looms large.

It’s easy to understand those concerns, especially because not every company abides by strong protection standards. Data collection and consumer privacy issues have been intensified by malicious actors that exploit the data of everyday users. That alone casts a negative light on data-intensive segments like location intelligence. There’s also the challenge of often-inadequate attempts to solve compliance problems, especially when those efforts are based on easily corruptible self-reporting or qualitative surveys.

As a result, marketers suffer from improperly collected data and an opaque supply chain. They don’t always know where the data they’re using is coming from. This can put them at risk of buying low-quality products created with improperly collected data, which have the potential of tarnishing their reputation and breaking consumers’ trust. As many have found out the hard way, privacy matters to the bottom line.

Non-compliance is costly

The consequences go well beyond fines. Over half (52%) of U.S. digital marketers feel that government regulation, or just the threat of it, is stopping them from getting value out of their data-driven campaigns, according to research from the IAB.

Privacy issues have changed the nature of brand safety too. In today’s data-driven landscape, safety is now tied to the origin of the data powering the campaign—not where the ad runs.

So far, calls for better privacy measures have motivated data providers to move spend to private marketplaces, adapt consent management programs and hire data protection talent. But an industry-wide solution still seems far away.

Self-certification by data providers is not the answer. In fact, this kind of approach erodes consumer trust and puts many apps and advertisers at risk for privacy, brand safety and regulatory issues. It is simply not a viable solution.

Setting strong data provenance standards

It’s really up to individual data providers to prove that the data that powers their solutions is fully compliant with emerging rules and regulations. That’s the approach we’re taking at Cuebiq. We are strongly committed to advancing the industry’s expectations of privacy compliance, beyond what is required by regulatory bodies.

To put it bluntly, we’re committed to setting a high bar for data provenance standards.

The Cuebiq Consent Management and Data Provenance (CMDP) solution gets at the heart of the problem and preempts the regulation that’s sure to come. It uses blockchain technology to enable users, partners and customers to provide proof of consent and data provenance across all Cuebiq solutions.

With an easy request, any network participant can ask for an objective third-party validation of any data collected, or product delivered by Cuebiq. Underpinning the solution are smart contracts that ensure we only deliver solutions with data from users whose consent can be verified on the ledger.

The blockchain-based solution is the result of a technology collaboration between Cuebiq and Nasdaq (an investor in Cuebiq) to verify data provenance and privacy compliance while allowing for third-party validation. “When we decided to invest in Cuebiq through Nasdaq Ventures, we were motivated by the potential to bring solutions and services that strengthen the integrity of the world’s markets to a new industry vertical,” said Scott Shechtman, head of new markets at Nasdaq.

Winning consumer trust will take more than simply complying with legislation. The industry needs to work together to win back consumer trust and future proof itself from impending privacy scandals and regulation.

Antonio Tomarchio (@tonytom82) is the founder and CEO of Cuebiq.