No. 266: The HarrisX Report


The must-read HarrisX report is 53 page deep dive into what is quickly becoming an inevitability. Big tech is facing regulation and if it happens, digital advertising efficacy may suffer with it. The most recent member brief included higher-level action steps for brands and agencies that may have to adjust to a digital advertising space without the targeting capabilities that we have today. We’ve narrowed the entire report to a few key takeaways.

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According to the report, 83% of Americans believe that the government should enact tougher regulations and penalties for breaches of data privacy. Additionally, 67% support major legislation in the U.S. The closest of which is the GDPR act in Europe. The GDPR limits the free flow of information between tech companies and advertisers. Below, I have included the three largest areas of concern.

From Member Brief No 9

What would the regulation of Facebook look like?

Look no further than Europe’s General Data Protection Regulation Act (GDPR) set to go into effect on May 25, 2018. There are three areas of interest that will be scrutinized:

  • Sensitive info: sexual preference, religious views, and political views will no longer be accessible to advertisers.
  • Facial recognition: banned in 2012, facial recognition will be made available. But the government will monitor intrusive use cases.
  • Data collection across the web: The GDPR reduces Facebook’s ability to track you across the web.

Facebook, Inc. may outlast Congress’ efforts to regulate their data collection practices but it is smart to prepare for a future without it.

Other eye-catching polling data:

(1) 65% of Americans supporting an Honest Ads Act requiring political advertisers to reveal their funding sources.

(2) 59% of Americans believe that children 16 years or younger should have control over their online profiles. Their data should be permanently deleted.

(3) And lastly, a bi-partisan 53% believe that large tech should be regulated much like the big banks are.

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If the push for regulatory action continues in America, the implications will be felt across ad-reliant digital publishing, advertising agencies, and the vertical brands that benefit from the data farm that’s powered Facebook to outsized profitability. It’s likely that we may begin to see the largest brands in the DNVB space pursue a greater share of offline advertising spend. This, especially as brands begin to reconsider how they a) reach top-of-the-funnel customers and b) retarget potential customers.

Read the Inaugural Tech Media Telecom Pulse Survey here

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