Be Responsible with your Data

In the wake of Facebook’s acknowledgment that concerns about Cambridge Analytica’s use of data emerged internally long before the news hit the public, we take a look at how the digital advertising industry can take responsibility for the data we handle and prevent such misuse happening again.

Data is a key component in today’s digital advertising success. There is no getting away from that fact. Ad tech companies are the stewards of that precious data and with that comes enormous responsibility. Fundamentally, as long as data is being collected, stored and processed in a compliant way there is nothing wrong, however, things do go wrong and when they do it has a big impact on the entire digital advertising ecosystem and the world in general when the story is big enough to make national news headlines.

At the core of many data breaches is a lack of transparency around how and when these breaches happen, it’s a complex area and it is confusing, and this obfuscation leads, very quickly, to mistrust. Facebook said that the data collection carried out by Cambridge Analytica was not against its policies and while that may be true, how many people really knew what those policies were - or are today? It’s human nature to be curious, but when curiosity causes doubt, a scandal will emerge.

In digital advertising, data equals revenue and unfortunately, that sometimes clouds the judgment of otherwise legitimate business practices and the gulf between control and execution is sometimes too big.

There’s another side to the use of data for advertising purposes and that’s the impact for consumers. Generally, consumers are not aware of what data is being collected, how it is being used or how it is being shared. When stories of data breaches come out and the transparency is highlighted, trust wanes. This continuing issue at Facebook has left advertisers reevaluating how effective their investment in the platform is and even if their presence on the platform is harming their relationship with consumers.

Without proper frameworks in place, any ad tech company can fall foul of the law - or morality - and the consequences can be enormous. For us at illuma, this was at the very heart of our inception - indeed part of the reason we picked the company name “illuma” was to bring to the fore a desire to increase levels of transparency, to illuminate our industry and to provide brands with a trusted partner to run their programmatically enabled campaigns.

At illuma our technology doesn’t use personal data. Our campaigns use real-time on-page contextual data which we use to find consumers who are in the mindset to engage with any given brands’ advertising. We believe this is the most powerful way to deliver better advertising campaigns for brands AND their consumers.  Win-win for everyone.

We want to empower the real value creators in the advertising ecosystem: brands building great products, and publishers producing premium content, as well as better consumer experiences. We use sophisticated technology to create simple solutions that drive commercial benefits for savvy clients.

To find out more about how illuma can help your brand, please get in touch.