The way the European Union’s General Protection Data Regulation (GDPR) is interpreted could have a severe impact on publishers, according to one expert.
The GDPR was introduced on 25 May 2018 to help consumers protect their data and reshape the way organisations approach data privacy through a consent model.
Speaking recently at a roundtable event in Sydney, Quantcast’s head of product for GDPR, Somer Simpson (pictured above) said one of the grey areas of the new law is its prescriptiveness.
Simpson warned the GDPR “could be a content killer” and “a journalism killer” if it’s interpreted so strictly that publishers lose the ability to continue making money and producing content.
“There’s a delicate balance, and it’s interesting because the privacy legislation in the EU is tied very closely with the anti-trust legislation,” she said.
“Obviously, you have to respect consumers’ need for privacy and not to be tracked, but at the same time you can’t get in the way of a major industry like publishers where that is there core revenue model.
“In order to be able to produce the content they produce and provide the value to consumers that they do, you can’t just say, ‘Hey, you have to give it away for free.’
Simpson said this is a pretty solid argument that a number of publishers are already taking to regulators, and that the smaller players have the right to be most worried.
When asked by B&T when Australia will implement a GDPR-like law, Simpson said was too hard to predict, but warned against local organisations rushing to become compliant.
“I wouldn’t disrupt of it’s not necessary. Wait and see what Australian regulators are going to do,” she said.
“If they start to move towards a GDPR-like law, that’s when I would become compliant. Otherwise, you’re just kind of getting in between you and your customers unnecessarily.”