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New guidance addresses privacy concerns around programmatic digital advertising

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Worried about the privacy issues around programmatic ads? Help is it hand. The Data & Marketing Association (DMA) and ISBA have published ‘The Seven-Step Ad Tech Guide’. The joint initiative is a step-by-step guide to help address the privacy challenges of Real Time Bidding (RTB) in programmatic advertising, produced in consultation with the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO).

The new guidance will provide support for UK businesses actively engaged in the programmatic delivery of digital advertising to ensure they protect the rights of individuals.

The area of RTB within programmatic advertising has grown and evolved rapidly in recent years. It is underpinned by advertising technology (Ad Tech) that allows advertisers to compete for available digital advertising space in milliseconds, placing billions of online adverts on webpages and apps in the UK every day by automated means.

The ICO identified a number of concerns relating to the protection of the rights of people through the use of RTB in the programmatic delivery of digital advertising.

‘The Seven-Step Ad Tech Guide’ helps to highlight and address these concerns, ensuring organisations adhere to the legal requirements of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations (PECR).

“Real Time Bidding is an innovative means of delivering advertisements, but it currently presents a number of challenges to businesses and uncertainty about how to protect peoples’ rights. Our new guidance will help advertisers and marketers navigate their way through the complexity of RTB and to address the concerns highlighted by the ICO,” says John Mitchison, Director of Policy and Compliance at the DMA. “Building long-term trust and confidence in digital advertising is essential. By helping organisations to clearly demonstrate to consumers that their rights are being protected and respected, we can help the data and marketing industry move a step closer towards this goal.”

Steve Chester, Director of Media at ISBA, says: “Brands must protect audience data consistently to earn public trust in digital advertising. This Seven Step Ad Tech Guide provides advertisers with the information they need to establish best practice in their digital advertising and in Real Time Bidding in particular. We’re delighted to have joined forces with the DMA to share the guidance across both our memberships and expect that advertisers will find its content valuable in their programmatic and wider digital marketing activities.”

Mitchison concludes: “Some organisations are still failing to comply with the GDPR and PECR when it comes to the programmatic delivery of digital advertising. They must learn to strike a balance between innovation and privacy – now is the time to look at how they process personal data in their digital advertising. The DMA would support the ICO taking a firmer stance on the most severe offenders who are making no effort to improve their data protection compliance in this area.”

Further insights into the guide will also be shared during the DMA’s upcoming webinar.

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