Experts concerned that changing data laws will impact digital media buying

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Media experts are concerned about how changing data privacy and security rules will impact on their digital media buys.

That’s according to Integral Ad Science, a global leader in digital media quality, which today released its 2022 Future of Privacy-First Advertising Report. 

In partnership with YouGov and a market research firm, IAS surveyed 1,131 consumers and 346 digital media experts on their perspectives regarding upcoming online data and privacy policy changes, the future of ad targeting and how media quality solutions can empower marketers to deliver.

Changing data laws

Results surfaced consumers’ substantial concerns regarding the security of their personal information online, lack of awareness of data privacy legislation to regulate the collection and use of their personal data and high levels of discomfort with their online data being used for advertising purposes.

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“With upcoming online data and privacy policy changes coming down the pipe, privacy continues to be a priority for both consumers and media experts,” said Yannis Dosios, Global Chief Commercial Officer (CCO), IAS. 

“IAS is well-suited to help ease the concerns of privacy policy transitions through our contextual targeting solutions that will help advertisers reach their ideal audience at scale, all while respecting their privacy.”

The report delves into a disconnect regarding how important it is for media professionals to understand data privacy policy, their degree of concern about how policies will impact their work and what organisations are actually doing to navigate these changes. 

The report also looks at how brands are currently navigating cookie depreciation through contextual, privacy-first advertising strategies that target consumers without using personal data.

Based on the report, these key takeaways will guide advertisers’ data privacy approach for the foreseeable future, the firm said:

Online data privacy is essential to consumers, but their confidence in the security of their online data is lacking 

While consumers agree that data privacy is a priority, only half (50%) feel confident in the security of their online data when browsing the web. 

Furthermore, over two-thirds (67%) of consumers say they are more vigilant than ever about their online data and privacy.

Consumers are aware of different targeting strategies. Still, they can be uncomfortable using their data for advertising purposes 

Nine in ten consumers (90%) know that websites and apps collect and share their data for advertising purposes, but the majority (68%) are still uncomfortable despite the personalisation. 

Brands have the opportunity to shift the targeted ad experience to be driven by contextual relevance, leading to a more positive experience for consumers and increased outcomes for advertisers.

Despite the majority of media experts’ concern about changing privacy policies, many are not knowledgeable about these policies, and the majority do not have a clear strategy in place for managing them

Nearly two-thirds (62%) of media experts agree that having an understanding of data privacy is a priority this year, with the overwhelming majority (89%) saying privacy relating to Personally Identifiable Information (PII) is top of mind for brands. 

However, only about half of digital media experts are familiar with privacy policy-related topics about browsers (53%), regulations (51%) or mobile identifiers (45%). 

Moreover, nearly one-third (29%) of media experts say their company has done nothing to manage forthcoming policy changes; only 36% said they had assigned a team to manage changes.

Brands should align ads with contextually relevant content that better resonates with consumers as privacy policies shift — Two-thirds (66%) of consumers said that they are likely to visit a brand or product’s website after being served a targeted advertisement. 

Contextual targeting is a straightforward option for advertisers considering consumers’ privacy concerns and desire for relevance; only 29% of media experts have implemented this strategy. 

Most media experts (51%) agree that media quality solutions will become more important to ensure the right audiences are being reached — and that ad buyers and sellers must actively work together throughout privacy changes.