The EU crusade against data collection

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Last week, Ireland’s Data Protection Commission (DPC) took the decision to potentially suspend Facebook’s data transfers from the EU to the US, marking one of the latest developments in the data war. EU against transatlantic data collection.

The war, which has been brewing since the publication of the European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which recently came to a head when Austrian data regulator Datenschutzbehörde said that medical information provider NetDoktor’s use of

Google Analytics unlawfully exposed data of EU data subjects to US intelligence agencies.

These developments underscore that relying on third parties to collect data becomes a losing proposition for tech executives when enforcing international data protection regulations.

The end of Facebook data collection in the EU?

The EU’s criticism of Facebook and Google Analytics’ data processing underscores that the regulator is seeking to assess how EU-based organizations share data with US downstream service providers and are willing to enforce data protection requirements of EU subjects.

“The end result of this decision, and recent decisions regarding Google Analytics and other cloud services, is that nearly all US companies and US companies with US subsidiaries will have to end data transfer with Europe,” said Jules Polonetsky, CEO of Future of Privacy. Forum.

“At this point, only a new political and legal agreement for US surveillance and surveillance repair will prevent this catastrophic outcome,” Polonetsky said.

“The irony is that Facebook and Google will be fine regardless of the outcome because they and a handful of others have the resources and technical ability to invest in the massive technological changes needed. Healthcare institutions, universities, government agencies, small and medium enterprises and their customers are the ones who will suffer if there is no political resolution,” he said.

Implications for third-party data collection

Considering Facebook and Google’s run-ins with EU regulators alongside the broader crackdown on third-party data collection, the future looks bleak for third-party advertising.

Not only did Apple give users the choice not to share their data with advertisers, but Google recently restricted cross-app tracking of Android users, after announcing it would ban third-party cookies on Google Chrome in 2023. .

The combination of the EU regulator’s crackdown on data sharing in the US and the service provider’s phasing out of third-party data collection suggests that organizations and policymakers will need new ways collect data and gather customer information.

“The era of third-party advertising is coming to an end, and it remains to be seen whether Google is ready to act as an independent guardian of the internet – via Android and Chrome – or as a third-party advertising technology provider (Topics API) ,” said Mander Shinde, co-founder and CEO of customer data platform provider Blotout.

“Over the past two years, Google has struggled to try and get its cake and eat it too as Apple forced its hand. The announcement with Android is a reflection of those struggles, as are the changes of Chrome that have been pushed back to 2023,” he said.

What’s next for advertisers?

The most obvious solution for businesses seems to be first-party data, where organizations seek permission to collect data directly from users and use it to grow their insights without relying on a third party like Facebook or Google.

First-party data collection has become a priority for many markets after the phasing out of cookies, with 88% of marketers in 2021 agreeing that first-party data collection is a priority, and 52% saying their organizations had prioritized digital experiences and/or strategies to collect more first-party data.

However, while Shinde believes first-party data will play a role in enabling companies to collect user data in the future, he also believes organizations can still engage in data sharing if they form close relationships as referents and beneficiaries.

“We believe that two parties, a referrer (e.g. Facebook) and a beneficiary (e.g. an advertiser) can always match signals so that they can work together. We expect each party to have its customer and enable participation based on content between the parties. This scenario will lead to significant market consolidation, as we have seen in the apps industry,” he said.

While it remains to be seen whether Facebook will stop data transfers from the EU, the writing on the wall is that companies can’t afford to rely on third parties to access information about their customers, it seems. that they will have to own the information themselves if they are to work intelligently in the long term.

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