Forbes: Some Media Companies Moving Decisively on GDPR, Others Not So Much

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Forbes: Some Media Companies Moving Decisively on GDPR, Others Not So Much

Next month’s implementation of sweeping new data-privacy rules in Europe might be a game-changing event, but not all media companies in North America or Europe are feeling the urgency, according to a sampling of 34 companies asked about the topic over the last seven days.

The companies were asked for a brief description of their preparations for the General Data Protection Regulation, which takes effect on May 25th and affects businesses operating in the European Union. The definition of what constitutes doing business in the EU is very broad—it includes companies that market to residents of EU countries, whether they’re located in the EU or not. So in a practical sense, for many global companies, GDPR is a new standard they need to adhere to, or possibly face stiff penalties.

Of the 34 inquiries, only 10 companies chose to offer a comment. Those comments are provided below in lightly edited but otherwise verbatim form. Four of the 10 are either marketing agencies or tech providers whose press representatives offered their perspective. Because they work with media companies, their comments are included.

Nine media companies declined to comment, in some cases out of what seemed to be legally-motivated caution. Five media companies said GDPR won’t affect them, and 10 did not respond to inquiries at all. (At the time this report was posted, one major British media company, Informa, had not provided a statement, but indicated some responsiveness. If the company responds, this report will be updated.)

Michael Nevins, 
Chief Marketing Officer, Smart

As a European-based company, data transparency and consumer privacy protection is something that has always been a top-of-mind priority as we’ve developed our technology and commercial practices.  The industry in the U.S. and other global markets is now finally waking up to the paramount importance of protection against violations of consumer privacy, which can have significant consequences to corporate interests in programmatic advertising.  The current Facebook-Cambridge Analytica controversy reflects the importance of being in compliance.

Michael Nevins

The entire ecosystem—publishers, the walled gardens, marketers and third-party tech players—must step up and shoulder their fair share of responsibility as we move into the GDPR era.  This entails full, granular transparency with all partners and users regarding what data points are collected and for which purpose they are applied.

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