From The Bureau: Perhaps, Perhaps, Perhaps. (Doris Day Was Onto Something)

From The Bureau: Perhaps, Perhaps, Perhaps. (Doris Day Was Onto Something)

This is the first in a monthly column from among the IAB Australia team and its membership, CEO Gai Le Roy (pictured above) dives into the biggest challenges facing the digital ad world and why her word of the year looks set to be “perhaps”.

It is no coincidence (and should not be a surprise to most either) that IAB Australia’s most pressing workstream this year is centred around data and privacy. Given the two most common questions currently being fielded by IAB are either “Is Google really going to deprecate third-party cookies this year?” (the answer is yes, dependent on the UK’s Competitions and Market Authority sign-off) or “When will we see the final version of the local updated Privacy Act?”.

Our answer to the second question is that while Government is still in consultation mode continuing to assess the impact in relation to a range of “agreed in principle” recommendations, we are expecting to see an update from the Attorney General’s Department in the coming months.

But. And this is incredibly important, while there will be refinement and clarity around the reforms from the Government, when it comes to your own business use cases the answers will not always be black and white.

For example, when media executives ask us, which identifiers will be classed as personal information (IP addresses for example), the answer is annoyingly “It depends”. Even I internally groan when I give this response. It sounds too much like Doris Day’s “perhaps, perhaps, perhaps. But like it or not – it does depend.

There are a range of circumstances where each business will need to test and assess how their data is collected and used to establish if it could be classed as personal information. Top of your list would have to be whether someone could be reasonably identified or reidentified, in essence, understanding if they could be singled out from a crowd.

Keep in mind it is nearly six years since Europe’s GDPR became law (yes six years!) and they are still going through various cases and scrutiny to ensure different use cases fit the intent of the regulation.

So, there will be (more) work to be done by all within Australia’s $14.7 billion digital advertising industry. Contributing $94 billion to GDP in 2022, it’s not an exaggeration to say the digital advertising industry is a lifeline for businesses looking for growth through advertising, as well as for consumers who want to access free or subsidised content and services.

Already considerable work is being undertaken by IAB Tech Lab to develop standards and frameworks for privacy compliance, including the recently launched Tech Lab’s Global Privacy Platform (GPP). GPP has been developed to help pass content compliantly within and across different jurisdictions. It currently supports consent strings for Europe, Canada and five US states, with India, Brazil, and more US states going live in 2024.

For over twenty-five years the IAB has been at the heart of helping publishers, marketers, and everyone in-between to efficiently operate in the constantly changing digital ad landscape. The issues of the loss of identifiers and changing privacy regulations will be no different. We’ll continue to support the digital advertising industry find new ways to operate their business, address customers, comply with local and global legislation, find ways to improve consumer transparency, and provide increased clarity on any value exchange.

But don’t be surprised if, when you ask one of the IAB team whether you will be able to use certain signals with the new Privacy Legislation, you receive the reply “perhaps, perhaps, perhaps”.

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