WFA Manifesto for Online Data Transparency

9:08 AM, 10 May 2018


The global shift towards data transparency

Why ANZA endorses the WFA Manifesto for Online Data Transparency

In response to the current conversations around the use of consumer data, the World Federation of Advertisers (WFA) recently released their Manifesto for Online Data Transparency.

The manifesto is a call out for brands to ‘commit to a data ecosystem that properly respects consumer choices and their rights to control their own data.’

It's a challenge to advertisers to commit to an online advertising industry built on more trust, control and respect. Advertisers need to think about:

  • the way they treat their customer’s data
  • how they respect their customer’s right to data transparency
  • giving consumers the right to control how their data is used

“We call on the online advertising industry to embrace a fundamental shift towards an ecosystem built on trust, control and respect for people’s data.” - World Federation of Advertisers

Facebook and Cambridge Analytica scandal forces change

We here at ANZA support the WFA’s Manifesto and recognise this need for data transparency for consumers in New Zealand.

As advertisers, data is a crucial part of how we advertise and engage our customers. Collecting and analysing consumer data has become part and parcel of advertising. But with that data comes responsibility and we need to make sure we are respecting consumers’ rights and public expectations.

In the wake of the Facebook and Cambridge Analytica scandal, governments and consumers are calling for greater data transparency.

“Globally, the evidence shows that the way data is collected and used by some industry players has played a large part in reducing people’s trust in online advertising,” says the WFA.

The WFA’s goal is to rebuild consumer trust by re-adjusting advertising practices towards giving consumers control over how and where their data is used.

New Zealand’s push for data transparency and a new Privacy Bill

This public outcry is not just an issue for the US or European nations. It’s something that affects New Zealand’s brands and advertisers just as much.

The New Zealand government has recently introduced the draft of a new Privacy Bill, set to replace the Privacy Act of 1993. Key changes in the proposed legislation are:

  • Mandatory reporting of privacy breaches
  • Requiring agencies to take additional steps to ensure personal information shared overseas will be subject to privacy standards
  • Making it compulsory to report any privacy breaches

Public submissions are now being called for Privacy Bill. You can read the draft Bill here. The closing date for submissions is Thursday, 24 May 2018.

New Zealand advertisers can lead the way

Advertisers in New Zealand have ever-growing data collection and analytical opportunities. With the WFA’s Manifesto and our government’s proposed new Privacy Bill at the forefront, now is the time when we can raise the standard and ensure we’re taking the right steps towards protecting consumers privacy and data.

How advertisers can answer the call for better data transparency

So how can advertisers commit to data transparency and rebuild consumer trust? ANZA encourages advertisers to follow the WFA’s aim to put people, rather than data, first.

The WFA’s Manifesto provides a clear and helpful guideline for advertisers towards taking action in four key areas:

  1. Create strong data governance: Ensuring consumer data is ethically and transparently sourced, and securely stored with appropriate assurances and mechanisms.
  2. Minimise data collection: Using and holding only the data that is necessary to deliver a quality advertising experience.
  3. Provide consumers with real control and choice over how their data is used: Creating user experiences that give people transparency, control and choice over how their data is shared and used for online advertising.
  4. Take more active control of data supply chains: Demanding accountability and transparency throughout the data supply chain in order to always have a clear view of what data is being collected and how it is being used.

Addressing these four key areas and conducting consumer research, the WFA will create a roadmap for change, intended to bridge the gap between regulatory requirements and consumer reality.

The WFA plans to create a toolkit for companies to use as a guide for best practice in data transparency, which ANZA will share with its Members.

Why a culture of data transparency is better for everyone

The manifesto is about more than ticking a few boxes. It calls for brands all over the world to go beyond the legal steps required by the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and New Zealand’s proposed Privacy Bill.

As we all know, trust is a key element of marketing a brand. Now more than ever, we must honor that trust with our consumers.

As advertisers, we have ever-increasing opportunities for data collection and analytics. But we mustn’t forget the importance of trust and our digital advertising capabilities continue to grow.

With this responsibility, we should continue to check and reassess our practices when it comes to consumer data. That means giving consumers choice, control and privacy of their data.

“Consumers look to brands to help safeguard their privacy. This Manifesto is recognition that a great digital experience is not just about free, fast-loading content and an unintrusive ad experience. Increasingly, it’s about people feeling that they have control over their personal information. Companies should see data transparency as a competitive advantage to building more trusted and meaningful brand-consumer relationships.” - Stephan Loerke, WFA CEO

By going beyond the requirements set by the GDPR and New Zealand’s proposed Privacy Bill, brands can make a stand to protect the rights of the consumers, and in turn, continue to build trust.

Where do you stand when it comes to data transparency?

ANZA strongly encourages all of our Members to reassess their consumer-data practices by reading the WFA’s Manifesto.

This is our opportunity to pioneer action towards respecting consumer data so let’s step up to create a better culture around advertising.

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