With more high-profile hacks in 2015 than ever before, online privacy remains a major issue for consumers and a major challenge for brands seeking loyalty. As part of our review of the year, we look back at the key trends that shaped digital marketing regulation in 2015, as web giants and governments locked horns over surveillance, monopolies and data collection.
Image source: By EFF-Graphics (Own work) [CC BY 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Key trends to check your 2016 plans against:
Biggest 10 headlines of the year:
“We messed up”: IAB admits mistakes on consumer trust and ad blockers
In a surprising U-turn, the Interactive Advertising Bureau has admitted it has cared too much about revenues and too little about user experience and needs to accept blame for the rising popularity of ad blockers.
Safe Harbour struck down by EU Court of Justice
In a dramatic judgement, the European Court of Justice has struck down the Safe Harbour agreement that has allowed companies to transfer data to the US. But while the ruling has potentially serious impact in the long term, marketers don’t need to panic just yet.
Privacy campaigners walk out of facial recognition talks
Privacy campaigners have boycotted talks aimed at creating a code of conduct for companies keen to use facial-recognition technology.
Big brands ‘appearing on sleazy website ads’
Many big brands ads from the likes of British Gas, Marks & Spencer, Cillit Bang and O2 are appearing on inappropriate websites, according to a news report this week.
P&G vlogger banned by ASA
The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has banned a YouTube video featuring a well-known vlogger because it didn’t clearly explain it was sponsored by P&G’s Max Factor brand.
67 digital rights groups protest Facebook’s Internet.org
Facebook is under increasing pressure to withdraw its Internet.org project, following claims that the free mobile web service is a threat to net neutrality.
EU plans ‘digital single market’ for online firms
The European Commission has unveiled plans for a “digital single market” which it claims could increase GDP across the EU by £300bn a year through a ‘harmonised market’ for online goods and services.
Down Periscope! HBO attacks Twitter over Game of Thrones live streaming
Broadcaster HBO has sent ‘take down’ notices to Periscope, the live-streaming video app owned by Twitter, after users of the app broadcast episodes of the hit show Games of Thrones on Sunday night.
Predatory or prudent? High price of .sucks domain investigated
The price of new .sucks domains is to be investigated amid claims that brands and celebrities could be exploited.
Facebook admits tracking ‘non-users’…but blames bug
Facebook has admitted that it is tracking non-users, often referred to as ‘shadow profiles’, but denies claims it breaches EU privacy law.