Data privacy - the pain and the pleasure

With all of the news and debate at the moment about privacy, we wanted to take a closer look at the pain and pleasure of working with data. Responsible lead generation providers take great care to show consumers what data is being collected, and for what purpose, and to treat that data with the utmost care.

Data leakage, theft and general poor practice is increasingly in the news. Recent examples include everything from the Sony Online Entertainment network, to phone hacking, to Facebook and Apple’s iPhone apparent tracking and commercialisation of users’ activity.

With the impending enforcement of the EU ePrivacy Directive coming to our shores this month, the subject is at the top of the digital marketing industry’s agenda. We’re actively involved with the IAB’s efforts in this area, providing guidance and support for their Regulatory Affairs department on relevant issues.

The broader industry would do well to also take a look at lead generation when considering data privacy. Our subset of the marketing universe was built around the sourcing, collection and transfer of data, and we pride ourselves on exceeding even the most stringent client’s policies in this regard.

This topic is evolving on a daily basis at the moment, but we are at last starting to see some examples and best practice guides appear that provide some very useful input to those still trying to get to grips with things. Here’s a selection of those we found the most enlightening:

* An Econsultancy guide to how they are approaching the issue
* The approach the IAB is taking
* The guidance from the ICO (Information Commissioner's Office)
* The legal viewpoint from Pinsent Masons on CookieLaw.org

The most sensible advice being offered currently is to ensure that you are actively working towards compliance – which is a key difference to ensuring compliance itself. Anyone reading up on this area will know that solutions put in place by industry leaders such as the IAB and ICO themselves are not deemed strictly compliant according to EU law, and that there is much work to be done to educate us all on how the law will be enforced in practice.

Magnetise, and indeed most lead generation providers, make little use of cookies as our core focus is creating interactive campaigns that drive user data entry rather than looking ‘behind the scenes’ to obtain that data. However, as with most digital marketing companies, we’re auditing our technology and working with our partners to ensure that we are aware of the implications of every element of the campaign lifecycle, understand the activities and compliance plans of our partners and ensure that we continue to treat customer data with the utmost respect.

We’ll be coming back to this topic again soon as the enforcement rolls out – please do let us know if there is anything in particular you’re struggling with right now and we’ll do our best to get you the facts you need to inform and support your business’ continued success.

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