First came GDPR, and now all the talk is squarely centered around a new acronym: CCPA.
Signed into law on June 28, 2018, the California Consumer Privacy Act (or CCPA) doesn’t just impact California-headquartered businesses like Facebook, Google and Apple. It also affects any company that does business in California. That’s a huge swath of businesses – large, medium and small – throughout the country. Oh, and it takes effect January 1, 2020 – less than two months from now.
So, this begs two questions – (1) how will it impact general marketing, digital and programmatic advertising, industry players and partnerships, data access, and data usage, and (2) are you ready?
Here are four considerations to help you start thinking and preparing for this fast-approaching change:
1) A seismic power shift
Without a doubt, there will be a shift in power from ad tech companies and intermediaries, straight to the publishers. Essentially, the CCPA (combined with browser changes such as Apple's ITP) will champion the importance of publishers’ direct, first-party relationships with consumers. This means that publishers will need more control over how their audience data is shared so they can effectively track and manage such data and notify users and partners of opt-outs and deletion requests, as required by the CCPA. In turn, the limitations on third-party cookies will be compounded, making it more difficult for third-party tech and data companies to identify and track users. However, by placing control back in the hands of the publisher, publishers can help support the industry's CCPA compliance efforts.
2) The death of the middlemen?
Much ink has been spilled predicting the impending death of the much-maligned ad networks, but the industry shift required to comply with the CCPA may actually start to put some additional nails in the middlemen coffin beyond what industry consolidation has done. The CCPA will exert continued pressure on middlemen, who contribute limited value in the advertising supply chain, and thus, reduce the number of "free-loading" and "arbitraging" players. Publishers will have to know and declare exactly how their audience data is being used, which will expose and limit reselling and the like. The outcome? More direct, cleaner supply paths to ad inventory and media.
3) Deeper transparency and responsibilities
For years now, consumers and consumer advocates have asked for and demanded greater transparency regarding the usage of their data. The CCPA will help meet that request, but it will also create new responsibilities for the online marketing and advertising industry. The CCPA demands that publishers and ad tech companies keep consumers informed of their data rights and make a demonstrated effort to communicate the value of, and manage expectations around, what the regulation means for consumers. It will also require publishers and ad tech companies to do a better job of explaining and justifying why advertising (and thus the usage of consumers’ data) is the lifeblood of the open/free internet. For example, the CCPA mandates that a conspicuous "Do Not Sell My Personal Information" link be placed on publisher pages that clearly gives users the option to opt-out of the "sale" of their personal information to third parties. It will be up to the publishers to appeal to the consumer why their personal information sustains the great content and journalism such publishers provide.
4) Strengthened partnerships
With the new level of transparency that the CCPA demands, ad tech companies, data companies, and publishers will have no choice but to forge stronger partnerships and collaborate closely. This could, in turn, uncover business strategies and practices which lead to new, uncharted alliances and engagements. Companies currently positioned as ad networks profit from publisher audiences and inventory, and to date, there has been an inherent lack of transparency that made their business model possible. In order to fully comply with the spirit of CCPA, however, publishers must demand transparency so they can understand how data is being used by each of their upstream service providers and partners. Service providers will consequently need to tailor their products to enable publishers to monetize audiences in a transparent and compliant way. More transparency enables trust - a foundational element of any successful partnership.
Keep in mind, the CCPA is coming, and very soon. The phrase "the clock is ticking" is not just an appropriate metaphor – it’s literally true. Time to prepare your business for January 1, 2020!
Chris Paquette is co-founder/CEO of DeepIntent, a marketing technology company that helps healthcare brands strengthen communication with patients and healthcare professionals through digital advertising campaigns.