European Union Data Protection Law Affects Media Agencies Globally

  • Categories:

    Paid Media

  • Date:

    September 20, 2018

European Union Data Protection Law Affects Media Agencies Globally



Paid Media

If you think the European Union’s (EU) General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) has nothing to do with consumer data in the United States, think again. 

These new regulations, which went into effect in May, impact the processing and storage of personal data and ensure companies are getting explicit consent to use someone’s data. While GDPR is an EU initiative, it does have global reach and affects marketers and brands on this side of the Atlantic. The language of the law states that any company that provides goods and services in the European Union or tracks the behavior of European Union citizens can be held responsible under this rule. 

This means that instead of simply applying these rights to people living in a certain geographic area, they stay with EU citizens even if they are traveling outside of the region. This is one reason we, as marketers, must be vigilant when it comes to consumer data, even if we are not actively advertising in the European Union. 

There are two main roles for media agencies defined in GDPR: controller and processor. In simple terms, a controller is a company that acquires data, either from consumers or third parties. A processor is a company that processes data on behalf of the controller.

To ensure protection under GDPR, media agencies should confirm all vendors and publishers they work with, including programmatic vendors and third-party data providers, are GDPR-compliant. If a vendor is not GDPR-compliant, the agency could be held responsible and face fines or litigation.

These regulations also put an emphasis on a site’s privacy policies. At Wray Ward, for example, we ensure any sites we manage have a privacy policy that is clear and concise. Website visitors also need to be made aware of the use of cookies, with an option to opt out.

While GDPR is one of the first regulations designed to protect an individual’s personal data, it is not likely to be the last. As consumer rights to protect their personal data evolve, we should all strive to create campaigns that are more targeted and focused with accurate data.