IX Perspectives

From Drew’s desk: navigating data protection laws

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As of 25 May, we’re officially living in a post-GDPR world. This was definitely not another Y2K scare: something did, indeed, happen — and that “something” has come with its share of challenges. While Q2 was a taxing time for many in our industry, the benefits of GDPR should not be overlooked.

To refresh, GDPR is the General Data Protection Regulation. It’s the world’s tightest set of data protection laws — designed to safeguard individuals’ personal information across Europe — and one of the greatest changes demanded by this set of regulations is the requirement to capture explicit consent from users before handling their data. So, how has this impacted our business and partners thus far?

After a quick (and expected) dip, we’ve seen an increase in the quality and volume of consent signals throughout our exchange, a boost in buyer confidence and publishers’ revenue bumping back up. Back to business as usual, so to speak.

Moving forward, our industry must ensure we’re properly managing user data, while still facilitating fast and efficient transactions between buyers and sellers. Publishers serving EU data subjects should work to implement a suite of GDPR compliance solutions including a consent mechanism, and those with strong connections to their readers will help bring back confidence. Buyers should ensure they can ingest consent and appropriately decide how they’re handling it in their bid responses based on their company’s GDPR policy.

With an increased deployment of consent to publishers, our ecosystem will be on its way to becoming a cleaner, more consolidated, and less confusing place — pushing us to foster a greater sense of maturation and reminding us that the consumer experience, and quality content, must always come first.

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