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Experts Respond to IAB UK Statements: Part Five (Online Privacy)

Experts Respond to IAB UK Statements: Part Five (Online Privacy)

Every day this week, PerformanceIN will provide background and expert commentary on IAB Believes: a five-part series which clarifies the UK organisation’s stance on some of the ad industry’s biggest talking points.

In its final statement today (Friday, August 21), it’s the bureau’s turn to run the rule over online privacy.

The IAB says…

User privacy is of huge importance in an increasingly connected world. The bureau once again stressed that many of the experiences that people enjoy online are funded by ads, which use information gleaned by browsers to ensure they stay relevant.

“Given the economic need for advertising, it is better that it is relevant, helpful and interesting,” the statement reads. 

Despite its support for an ad-funded web - a space which now relies heavily on customer data to achieve results - the IAB goes on to call out for a “pragmatic and streamlined framework” for data protection in Europe. Through this, companies will have an incentive to build privacy-enhancing measures within their organisations, and the IAB is adamant that tech companies must “step up” in this area. 

Looking at things at the other end of the spectrum, the IAB insists that online privacy is not a ‘one-way street’ and that users themselves should take some form of responsibility for the amount of details they share online. For this, they’ll require a far greater understanding on the swathes of data collected by companies and how it’s used in their journeys around the web.

It’s not to say that things aren’t improving in the lead up to a universe filled with connected devices. IAB heaps praise on inventory served by Google’s AdChoices, which can tell the user more about why something was served and how they can adjust their settings with a click of a button.

Still, there is plenty of pressure riding on events like the EU data protection reform - expected by the end of the year - to empower users to care about and adjust how much information they share online.

Our expert says…

‘We predict a backlash and a drive towards privacy and anonymity.’

Kevin Taylor is the CEO of Storm - a search engine offering “absolute privacy” online.

“This announcement is a step in the right direction. Giving citizens greater transparency and control over their online information is vital, but has the IAB gone far enough?

Consumers are increasingly uncomfortable with the amount of personal information they have to share to use online services. Looking at this month alone you can find numerous examples of high-profile companies having consumers’ data hacked or leaked. 

Combined with the staggering amounts of money advertising giants make from monetising our online behaviour, we predict a backlash and a drive towards online services where users have privacy and anonymity.”

PerformanceIN is working in association with the IAB to give people new to performance marketing a chance to attend Performance Marketing Insights: London free of charge. Applicants must complete a form ahead of the deadline on September 16, in the lead up to October's event.

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Richard Towey

Richard Towey

Richard serves as head of content at PerformanceIN. After many years spent covering developments from the automotive, sports, travel and finance sectors, he eventually turned his full attention to reporting on stories from the fast-evolving world of digital marketing. Richard now heads up the editorial team at PerformanceIN: the performance marketing industry's leading publication.  

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