The adtech industry is never quiet, but February has seen a raft of particularly noteworthy developments. As always, we’ve pulled together some of the stories that caught our eye this month for you to review at leisure.
What we have for you today: TrustPid clears an important hurdle, privacy regulation comes under the spotlight, and ChatGPT raises issues of privacy consent.
TrustPid, a joint venture between Germany’s Deutsche Telekom, France’s Orange, Spain’s Telefónica and the UK’s Vodafone, has been given the green light by the EU’s antitrust division. As a result, the JV is a significant step closer to realising its ambition for a telco-based ID for digital advertising. The bloc’s data regulators are now taking a look at the JV to ensure that it will be compliant with data protection laws, so watch this space for developments.
TrustPid substantiates the vision we’ve been enthusiastically advocating since our inception — there’s a huge market opportunity for telcos to diversify their revenue streams by offering a privacy-led identification solution to support the digital marketing activities of publishers and brands.
While TrustPid passed its antitrust exam, Google is coming under increased scrutiny. At the end of last month, the US Department of Justice (DoJ) initiated a lawsuit against the company for monopolising multiple digital advertising technology products. The outcome is far from certain, but it is possible that this action could lead to a fresh injection of competitive energy into the adtech sector. If Google does have to divest, the playing field suddenly opens up to new companies and the fresh thinking that often brings.
With Google currently beta testing its Privacy Sandbox tools for Android, we can also hope that the company takes an open approach to facilitate a broader and healthier adtech market. At present, there’s little mention of whether its Privacy Sandbox tools will work alongside open ID solutions to create a privacy first programmatic ecosystem.
The direction of travel for global privacy laws is clear: there will be many more of them, and they will become increasingly stringent. This month, Australia’s government published details of its proposed Privacy Act, which would enable consumers to opt out of targeted ads and give them powers to instruct companies to erase their data. This is of course just the latest in a raft of laws passed since the GDPR kicked things off in 2018.
The GDPR is also at the heart of a dispute between the EU and the US over data sharing between the two regions. This month, MEPs pushed the EC not to extend adequacy provisions to the US based on the proposed EU-US Data Privacy Framework, claiming that the US does not provide adequate protection. Testing times are ahead for adtech players that straddle the EU-US jurisdictions, and the major tech platforms in particular will see their business models once again come under scrutiny. The overriding takeaway: no matter where you are or what you do, data privacy is now fundamental to your business.
Finally, more developments from the open source ChatGPT AI tool. Since its launch, the app has proved hugely popular and is already being analysed by adtech companies looking to find industry-specific use cases.
However, as the tech industry rushes ahead with its embrace of ChatGPT and other, similar tools, there is also a word of warning being struck by industry experts: namely, that ChatGPT could potentially breach privacy laws if its algorithm processes unconsented personal data scraped from the web. At present, there appears to be no means for consumers to give consent for the algorithm to use their web-based data. If ChatGPT is to have legs, this is a challenge that should be solved as a priority.
Thanks for reading. If you’re looking for more stories, thoughts, and comments on all things related to digital marketing then please drop by our blog. This month, you can learn more about what TrustPid means for the industry, as well as why ID interoperability is so crucial to the advertising ecosystem of tomorrow.