Regulation trends in 2015: The price of privacy in a digital world

Dec 17, 2015 | Regulation

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 […]

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.
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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:

  • Facebook caught tracking non-users: Shadow profile rumours proved true, but not illegal
  • New laws, new tactics: EU data, native ads and HTML5 metrics change game for brands
  • Native ad rules: Vloggers banned for secret product placement
  • Ad blocking threat: Industry to blame for rise in filters?
  • Consumer trust is key: Too many brands losing customers over exchange of personal data
  • 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.
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    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.
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    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.
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    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.
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    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.
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    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.
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    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.
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    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.
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    View all our reviews of 2015 here

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