Last Sunday, 60 Minutes ran a story on data brokers and the impact of data collection that is occurring cross platforms, devices and sites. While OTA agrees consumers receive a great deal of benefit from ad supported services, the average consumer does not understands how this data is being collected and shared. While privacy policies may state this and apps may disclose these practices, in general they are not intuitive or comprehendible to the average consumer or small business.
While we had a good start on self-regulatory practices these efforts have not materially moved forward in two years. Trade orgs have become balkanized, defending their practices, failing to recognize the long-term impact. While one may opt-out of receiving some interest based advertising, users today have little to no control of data being collected, shared sold and brokered. Progress on Do Not Track have not progressed, yet technologies tracking our online behavior between our PC/MAC, tablet and phones (and apps), have shown un-paralleled levels of innovation. The likelihood of a “tragedy of the trust commons” is real.
As a marketer at heart, I support the value of data driven marketing and the value of big data. We must move and embrace the concept of stewardship and the collective impact of the lack of restraint. Left unabated consumer trust will continue to decline, the adoption of anti-tracking technology solutions will emerge and regulatory oversight will increase. Combined this will impact the long-term health of the internet and innovation. Watch the Video.