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Next steps to ensure Transparency, Choice and Control in Digital Advertising

Next steps to ensure Transparency, Choice and Control in Digital Advertising

Data privacy has been a serious topic in the digital marketing world. Users are becoming concerned about the privacy of their data online. They want to know what kind of data collected and used by tech companies for ad targeting. Their concerns are natural to arise after Facebook’s Cambridge Data Analytica scandal. It gave us proof that much damage can be done when data is misused, and trust gets broken. 

However, this is a fact many of the websites exist only due to ad revenue. Ad-supported content makes these websites free to use, and advanced targeting serves users with more relevant ads which keep advertisers coming back.

Today, users are more concerned about data collection and ad targeting due to the lack of visibility of the privacy of their data. They want to know the ways they get selected for an ad. Which companies are in this process and why do they choose them to see it? 

Not only just visibility but users also want to be able to control data that is used for ad targeting by companies. Everyday users experience countless examples of targeted ads that have resulted in unforeseen consequences. For example, It's quite embarrassing for users to get irrelevant content on work computers due to ads targeting based on browsing behaviour.

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Google’s proposal for new digital ad standards

Google always finds a way to provide solutions to users. It came up with new digital ad standards. But this Google’s proposal document is not a set of new standards, but rather an invitation for the companies to come together and have further discussions on what can be done to improve the digital ads industry. 

Why standardization is so important: 

Every platform, browser, or website has its system to allow/disallow cookie tracking or data sharing. In such a scenario, users get more confused about their data, its privacy and safety online. 

According to Google, if browsers block the cookie tracking entirely, it hurts the overall ecosystem. As a result, publishers don't get the ad revenue from their traffic, which leads them to produce less content for the end-user. Additionally, due to a lack of a standardized system, companies are finding ways for cookie tracking blocks, which arise more problems. Companies are working around this preference using methods like fingerprinting, which is a non-transparent tracking technique. It doesn’t allow reasonable transparency or control. 

Google invited the industry's top players to create an ad-based framework guided by three key principles: 

  • First is the users' transparency. Users should have transparency to easily check and understand how their data is being collected and used for ads.
  • Second is the users' choice. Users' choices about the web experience should be respected and any attempts to bypass those choices should be prevented.
  • And third is the users' control. They should have the control to see how their data is collected and used to target ads, and whether those ads are personalized or not.

This proposal also framed, how to ensure that users have transparency, choice and control for ads? The document has mainly three key components for the discussion with others in the industry. 

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Proposed industry standards for ad transparency, choice, and control 

Google proposes the following information for users :

· What data is being collected on them, by who, and the reason?

· Who is responsible for each ad a user sees? 

· What caused an ad to appear for that specific user?

Specifically, Google proposes that this information should be available at specific levels of web activity including: 

  • Individual ads 
  • Web pages 
  • Websites 
  • Browsers 
  • Broader ecosystem for research purposes 

Additionally, Google proposes stricter standards against companies that use targeting methods that invade user privacy like fingerprinting and establish consequences for those that don’t comply. 

Now, we understand that users' privacy is the primary thing which marketers can't ignore. Google initiative towards transparency of data is commendable, and now it's the turn of Digital Marketing industry to play its role. If you are looking for the above phenomena, I would highly recommend 7 Stones Digital Marketing company. It's a Chennai based Digital Marketing company, well known for its best services. It is the best company for PPC, SEO, Website Development & Designing, Email & SMS Marketing, Content Development & Social Media Marketing services. Here, these digital marketing experts ensure that the transparency and privacy of users' data remain according to Google's guidelines. 

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Author Biography.

Ruchi Verma
Ruchi Verma

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