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Consumer, Corporate, Legislation, Personal Data, Privacy, Trending

In September 2021, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia issued its Personal Data Protection Law to regulate the processing of personal data. The PDPL is the first federal, sector-agnostic data privacy legislation in Saudi Arabia. Organizations will be faced with significant changes to their operations to ensure compliance.

The PDPL comes into effect only 180 days after the publication in the Official Gazette, meaning the law will be effective March 23, subject to the passage of the implementing regulations. For the first two years, it will be enforced under the Saudi Data and Artificial Intelligence Authority, after which a transition to the National Data Management Office will be considered.   

Like other new data protection laws and updates within the broader Middle East and North Africa region, some elements within the PDPL are similar to those of other international data protection regulations. The law also includes numerous unique requirements — such as data transfer and localization requirements — businesses will need to pay careful attention to. Fulfilling these requirements may be operationally burdensome and early planning will be critical to avoid significant setbacks.
The PDPL also includes extraterritorial effect so organizations based outside Saudi Arabia will still be subject to the law and its requirements if they process the personal data of Saudi residents.

What does the law introduce?
The PDPL introduces a number of requirements that could significantly impact how companies in the Kingdom operate. The most notable include:

Registration requirements. 
Data controllers, the organizations that determine the means and purpose of processing of personal data, must register via an electronic portal which includes an annual registration fee.

Records of processing. 
Data controllers must create and maintain a record of how they process personal data, and it must be registered with the SDAIA. Any foreign company operating in the Kingdom and processing personal data of Saudi residents must appoint a local representative. More guidance regarding when this requirement will become effective is forthcoming from the SDAIA. Organizations will also be expected to appoint data officers to manage compliance with the law.

Data subject rights.
Individuals are now provided with new rights to their data, namely that they have the right to information about how their data is processed, the ability to access copies of their data and request corrections, and the right to have their data destroyed. Individuals will also have the right to lodge complaints with the regulatory authority.

Data transfers.
Data transfers outside the Kingdom are only permitted in limited circumstances. However, even if the transfer meets one of the permitted exceptions, the data controller must receive approval by an appropriate government authority, amongst other conditions.

The principal legal basis for processing under the law is consent. Personal data may only be processed without consent in certain circumstances. Individuals will also have the right to withdraw their consent to the processing of their personal data. Importantly, data controllers must also have prior consent of individuals to send direct marketing and must provide an opt-out mechanism.

Impact assessments.
Data controllers must assess projects, products and services to identify data protection risks posed to individuals.

Privacy notice.
Data controllers must implement a privacy notice specifying how data will be processed prior to collecting personal data from individuals.

Breach notification.
Data controllers will be expected to report data breaches to the regulatory authority as soon as they become aware of an incident.

Sensitive data.
Information such as genetic, health, credit and financial data will fall under scope of the law. This data is also likely to be subject to additional regulation.

So how do we prepare?
Like most compliance efforts, early preparation is essential, especially to achieve compliance with some of the more onerous requirements detailed in the PDPL. As a priority, organizations should follow this six-point plan:

Step 1: Understand the data. 
Organizations must understand what data they hold, how it is used and who it is shared with. This can be accomplished by creating a record of processing activities to trace data through the information lifecycle. This document can be used as a single source of truth and to inform other compliance activities.

Step 2: Establish governance. 
Identifying local representatives where appropriate and appointing data officers will be an essential step. These individuals should be integrated into existing data protection or security networks of governance to enable the successful communication and escalation of risks.

Step 3: Create policies and procedures.
Policies and processes must be updated to reflect the new data protection responsibilities, including procedural guidance for responding to data subject rights requests and issuing data breach notifications. Policy refreshes must also address the assessment of data protection and security standards in place among third parties.

Step 4: Implement and test breach plans.
Organizations need a robust data breach plan that articulates each step involved in responding to a breach, the individuals and teams involved, and the timelines to complete each step. Testing your plan will help to ensure your teams are cohesive and ready should an actual incident occur.

Step 5: Identify international data transfers.
Using the ROPAs as a starting point, organizations should seek to understand what data is transferred internationally and where it is transferred to. This includes understanding how limitations in the law may affect these transfers and beginning to adopt strategies for compliance.

Step 6: Provide training and change management.
Training is an effective tool to develop a sustainable culture of compliance. To complement training activities, organizations should consider identifying change management strategies to help ensure that the compliance activities are embedded successfully.



Corporate, Marketing, Personal Data, SME, Tech

Tijdens de Google EMEA product-kick-off worden nieuwe ontwikkelingen onthuld. De belangrijkste punten met betrekking tot ‘search’ en ‘shopping’ van semester 2 hebben we hier op een rijtje gezet.

Tijdens Google’s EMEA – Europe, Middle-East and Africa – product kick-off (een digitaal event) van Google worden er nieuwe ontwikkelingen onthuld. Google houdt dit evenement tweemaal per jaar. De belangrijkste punten met betrekking tot search, shopping en analytics, tracking en reporting van semester 2 zetten we op een rijtje. Dit is deel 1, waarin we  we de search– en shopping-ontwikkelingen. In deel 2 kun je de ontwikkelingen in analytics, tracking en reporting vinden.

Overzicht semester 2

  • Prestatieplanner search en shopping

  • Prestatieplanner voor Target-impressie sales

  • Broad Match-verbeteringen

  • Conversiewaarderegels voor conversie

  • Afbeeldingextensie en dynamische afbeelding extensie

  • ETA (Expanded Text Ads) Sunset

  • Store Sales-integratie met lokale campagnes

  • 1-klik doel-ROAS-experimenten voor shopping

  • Shoppable display-advertenties in Slimme Shopping-campagnes

  • Regional Availability and Pricing (RAAP)

  • Prestatieplanner voor lokale campagnes

  • Shopping-aanbevelingen updates

1. Prestatieplanner ‘search’ en ‘shopping’

Creëer budgetplannen en voorspel hoe optimalisaties belangrijke statistieken kunnen veranderen die je marketingdoelen – leads genereren, online- en offline sales – ondersteunen. Je kunt budgetten en doelen plannen bij search– en shopping-campagnes, wat tijd scheelt. Alle campagnes moeten één merchant center gebruiken.

Het is nu mogelijk om campagnes toe te voegen die eerder niet geschikt waren, door eerdere prestaties te gebruiken of handmatige prognoses toe te voegen. Met de nieuwe kolom “Voorgestelde wijzigingen” krijg je in een oogopslag inzicht in aanbevelingen van de prestatieplanner. Voeg secundaire statistieken toe om zo meer gegevens te verkrijgen over de impact op de prestaties. Kies een specifieke periode die je kunt gebruiken voor het historische conversiepercentage.

2. Prestatieplanner voor bieden op basis van doelvertoningspercentages

Ook hier: creëer budgetplannen en voorspel hoe optimalisaties belangrijke statistieken kunnen veranderen die je marketingdoelen – leads genereren, online- en offline sales – ondersteunen. Plan specifiek voor campagnes die ‘bieden op basis van doelvertoningspercentages’ gebruiken als biedstrategie. Deze lancering omvat het tonen van nieuwe vertoningspercentagestatistieken – vertoningspercentage, absolute toppositie vertoningspercentage – voor bieden op basis van doelvertoningspercentages. Op dit moment is deze functie alleen beschikbaar voor search-campagnes.

3. Broad Match-verbeteringen

Broad Match, samen met slim bieden, zorgen gemiddeld voor hogere conversies en hogere conversiewaardes. Een aantal verbeteringen die ervoor zorgen dat voorspelbaarheid, precisie en themamogelijkheden voor Broad Match verbeteren:

  • Verbeterd begrip van taal en intentie

  • Betere voorspelbaarheid in hoe zoekwoorden matchen

  • Verbeteringen in aanbevelingen voor Broad Match-aanbevelingen

4. Conversiewaarderegels voor conversie bieden

Pas gemakkelijk de waardes aan en optimaliseer wat belangrijk is met gebruik van conversiewaarderegels.

  • Creëer regels om conversiewaardes te onderscheiden op basis van kenmerken zoals locatie, apparaat en doelgroep. Gebruik de aangepaste waardes om slim bieden te gebruiken

  • Profiteer van realtime optimaliseren en van vereenvoudigde management om je bedrijfsdoelen te optimaliseren

Conversiewaarden maximaliseren is nu beschikbaar samen met Target ROAS en Slimme Shopping-campagnes.

5. Beeldextensies en dynamische afbeeldingextensies

Uit de eerste resultaten blijkt dat adverteerders een stijging van tot 10% zien in de CTR wanneer beeldextensies of dynamische afbeeldingextensies bovenaan de pagina worden getoond met mobiele zoekadvertenties.

Afbeeldingextensies (volledig gelanceerd): gebruik je eigen afbeeldingen en implementeer deze op het niveau dat nuttig is voor jou. Beeldextensies vullen zoekadvertenties aan met relevante afbeeldingen van je producten/services.

6. ETA (Expanded Text Ads) Sunset

Adverteerders die van uitgebreide tekstadvertenties overschakelen naar responsive zoekadvertenties – met dezelfde items – zien gemiddeld 7% meer conversies tegen vergelijkbare kosten per conversie. Vanaf 30 juni 2022 zullen responsive zoekadvertenties de enige soort zoekadvertenties zijn je in standaard zoekcampagnes kunt maken of aanpassen. Om jezelf voor te bereiden op deze verandering is het aan te raden om op z’n minst één responsive zoekadvertentie te gebruiken in iedere advertentiegroep in je zoekcampagnes.

7. Store Sales-integratie met lokale campagnes

Koppel je winkelverkoopdata aan lokale campagnes. Begrijp de volledige waarde van je offline sales buiten winkelbezoek-, oproep- en routebeschrijvingsrapporten. Meet offline sales, gemaakt door je lokale campagnes via de nieuwe functionaliteit Stores Sales Reporting en pas je biedstrategieën hier op aan. Google gebruikt winkelbezoeken, enquêtes en transactiegegevens om totale winkelverkopen te rapporteren aan Google Ads.

8. Doel-ROAS-experimenten met één klik voor ‘shopping’

Adverteerders zien gemiddeld meer dan 30% verhoging in conversiewaarde wanneer er gebruikt wordt gemaakt van Target ROAS voor shopping-campagnes. De 1-klik doel-ROAS-experimenten voor Shopping geven je een krachtige A/B-testing-tool die e

rvoor zorgen dat je je doel-ROAS kunt testen tegenover je huidige oplossing en de impact ervan kunt meten. Als je blij bent met de resultaten van het experiment, kun je deze instellingen met één klik op de knop aan je oorspronkelijke campagne toevoegen.

9. Shoppable Display-advertenties in Slimme Shopping-campagnes

Shoppable display-advertenties zijn een nieuwe format op SSC (Slimme Shopping-campagnes) display-inventaris die ervoor zorgen dat de gebruikers-engagement en de display-waarde verhoogd worden.

  • Verbeter de SSC-display-verwachtingsmogelijkheden met mooie beelden en boeiende formats

  • Kan extra conversiewaarde opleveren op dezelfde of betere ROI

  • Zorgt ervoor dat SSC meer hoge kwaliteit assets kan gebruiken, om zo betere formats te creëren

Shoppable display-advertenties zijn nu in een gesloten bèta, maar zijn binnenkort beschikbaar voor alle SSC-adverteerders.

10. ‘Regional Availability and Pricing’ (RAAP) niet beschikbaar in Nederland

RAAP is ontworpen om je te helpen je online bereik te vergroten samen met de regionale prijsstrategieën. Het vermindert afkeuringen van je feed om zo de impact van je campagnes te optimaliseren. Het zorgt ervoor dat je alleen betaalt voor klikken uit regio’s waaraan je producten/diensten verkoopt.

Met RAAP kun je productbeschikbaarheid en met variabele prijzen bieden op basis van de locatie van je klanten in shopping-advertenties op Google Search en gratis vermeldingen op het tabblad “Shopping”. Je kunt RAAP al instellen in de merchant center interface of de Content API.

11. Prestatieplanner voor lokale campagnes

Prestatie Planner zorgt ervoor dat je budgetverhogingen in kunt plannen en helpt je de potentiële performance impact te begrijpen voor toekomstige lokale campagnes.

De tool is ontworpen om bestaande campagnebudgetverhogingen te modelleren en de bijbehorende geschatte prestatieresultaten (store visits) te laten zien. Campagnebudgetten zijn gebaseerd op basis van gemiddelde dagelijkse uitgaven. Bijvoorbeeld: 90-daagse campagne met een €90.000 budget = €1.000 per dag. Deze tool gaat ervan uit dat de toekomstige campagnes identiek zullen zijn met de bestaande campagnes op basis van locatie en winkels.

12. ‘Shopping aanbevelingen’-updates

Gebruik de aanbevelingenpagina om realtime, gepersonaliseerde aanbevelingen te krijgen die je shopping-campagnes/-account verbeteren, en zo zorgen voor groeiende online sales. Recente aanbevelingen:

  • Aanbiedingen migreren van reguliere naar slimme shopping campagnes

  • Optimaliseren van nieuwe klanten

  • Pick-up later-advertentie-format

  • Target alle shopping-aanbiedingen

  • Oplossen van shopping merchant center accountschorsing

  • Maak ROAS Target en verhoog het budget om meer waarde te creëren



Consumer, Corporate, Personal Data, Privacy, Trending

InfoSum, a startup which takes a federated approach to third-party data enrichment, has launched a new product (called InfoSum Bridge) that it says significantly expands the customer identity linking capabilities of its platform.

“InfoSum Bridge incorporates multiple identity providers across every identity type — both online and offline, in any technical framework — including deterministic, probabilistic, and cohort-level matches,” it writes in a press release.

It’s also disclosing some early adopters of the product — naming data-for-ads and data-aggregator giants Merkle, MMA and Experian as dipping in.

The idea being they can continue to enrich (first-party) data by being able to make linkages, via InfoSum’s layer, with other “trusted partners” that may have gleaned more tidbits of info on those self-same users.

InfoSum says it has 50 enterprise customers using InfoSum Bridge at this point. The three companies it’s named in the release all play in the digital marketing space.

The 2016-founded startup (then called CognitiveLogic) sells customers a promise of “privacy-safe” data enrichment run via a technical architecture that allows queries to be run — and insights gleaned — across multiple databases, yet maintains each pot as a separate silo. This means the raw data isn’t being passed around between interested entities. 

Why is that important? Third-party data collection is drying up, after one (thousand) too many privacy scandals in recent years — coming with the legal risk attached to background trading of people’s data as a result of data protection regimes like Europe’s General Data Protection Regulation.

That puts the spotlight squarely on first-party data. However, businesses whose models have been dependent on access to big data about people — i.e. being able to make scores of connections by joining up information on people from different databases/sources (aka profiling) — are unlikely to be content with relying purely on what they’ve been able to learn by themselves.

This is where InfoSum comes in, billing itself as a “neutral data collaboration platform”.

Companies that may have been accustomed to getting their hands on lashings of personal data in years past, as a result of rampant, industry-wide third-party data collection (via technologies like tracking cookies) combined with (ehem) lax data governance — are having to cast around for alternatives. And that appears to be stoking InfoSum’s growth.

And on the marketing front, remember, third-party cookies are in the process of going away as Google tightens that screw…

“We are growing faster than Slack (at equivalent stage e.g. Series A->B) because we are the one solution that is replacing the old way of doing things,” founder Nick Halstead tells TechCrunch. “Experian, Liveramp, Axciom, TransUnion, they all offer solutions to take your data. InfoSum is offering the equivalent of the ‘Cisco router for customer data’ — we don’t own the data we are just selling boxes to make it all connect.”

“The announcement today — ‘InfoSum Bridge’ — is the next generation of building the ultimate network to ‘Bridge the industry chasm’ it has right now of hundreds of competing IDs, technical solutions and identity types, bringing a infrastructure approach,” he adds.

We took a deep dive into InfoSum’s first product back in 2018 — when it was just offering early adopters a glimpse of the “art of the possible”, as it put it then.

Three+ years on it’s touting a significant expansion of its pipeline, having baked in support for multiple ID vendors/types, as well as adding probabilistic capabilities (to do matching on users where there is no ID).

Per a spokesman: “InfoSum Bridge is an extension of our existing and previous infrastructure. It enables a significant expansion of both our customer identity linking, and the limits of what is possible for data collaboration in a secure and privacy-focused manner. This is a combination of new product enhancements and announcement of partnerships. We’ve built capabilities to support across all ID vendors and types but also probabilistic and support for those publishers with unauthenticated audiences.”

InfoSum bills its platform as “the future of identity connectivity”. Although, as Halstead notes, there is now growing competition for that concept, as the adtech industry scrambles to build out alternative tracking systems and ID services ahead of Google crushing their cookies for good.

But it’s essentially making a play to be the trusted, independent layer that can link them all.

Exactly what this technical wizardry means for internet users’ privacy is difficult to say. If, for example, it continues to enable manipulative microtargeting, that’s hardly going to sum to progress.

InfoSum has previously told us its approach is designed to avoid individuals being linked and identified via the matching — with, for example, limits placed on the bin sizes. Although its platform is also configurable (which puts privacy levers in its customers hands). Plus there could be edge cases where overlapped data sets result in a 100% match for an individual. So a lot is unclear.

The security story looks cleaner, though.

If the data is properly managed by InfoSum (and it touts “comprehensive independent audits”, as well as pointing to the decentralized architecture as an advantage) that’s a big improvement on — at least — one alternative scenario of whole databases being passed around between businesses which may be (to put it politely) disinterested in securing people’s data themselves.

InfoSum’s PR includes the three canned quotes (below) from the trio of marketing industry users it’s disclosing today.

All of whom sound very happy indeed that they’ve found a way to keep their “data-driven” marketing alive while simultaneously getting to claim it’s “privacy-safe”…

John Lee, Global Chief Strategy Officer, Merkle: “The conversation around identity is continuing to be top of mind for marketers across the industry, and as the landscape rapidly changes, it’s essential that brands have avenues to work together using first-party identity and data in a privacy-safe way. The InfoSum Bridge solution provides our clients and partners a way to collaborate using their first-party data, resolved to Merkury IDs and data, with even greater freedom and confidence than with traditional clean room or safe haven approaches.”

Lou Paskalis, Chairman, MMA Global Media and Data Board: “As marketers struggle to better leverage their first-party data in the transition from the cookie era to the consent era, I would have expected more innovative solutions to emerge.  One bright spot is InfoSum, which offers a proprietary technology to connect data, yet never share that data. This is the most customer-friendly and compliant technology that I’ve seen that enables marketers to fully realize the true potential of their first party data. What InfoSum has devised is an elegant way to respect consumers’ privacy choices while enabling marketers to realize the full benefit of their first party data.”

Colin Grieves, Managing Director Experian: “At Experian we are committed to a culture of customer-centric data innovation, helping develop more meaningful and seamless connections between brands and their audiences. InfoSum Bridge gives us a scalable environment for secure, data connectivity and collaboration. Bridge is at the core of the Experian Match offering, which allows brands and publishers alike the ability to understand and engage the right consumers in the digital arena at scale, whilst safeguarding consumer data and privacy.”

Thing is, clever technical architecture that enables big data fuelled modelling and profiling of people to continue, via pattern matching to identify “lookalike” customers who can (for example) be bucketed and targeted with ads, doesn’t actually sum to privacy as most people would understand it… But, for sure, impressive tech architecture guys.

The same issue attaches to FloCs, Google’s proposed replacement for tracking cookies — which also relies on federation (and which the EFF has branded a “terrible idea”, warning that such an approach actually risks amplifying predatory targeting).

The tenacity with which the marketing industry seeks to cling to microtargeting does at least underline why rights-focused regulatory oversight of adtech is going to be essential if we’re to stamp out systematic societal horrors like ads that scale bias by discriminating against protected groups, or the anti-democratic manipulation of voters that’s enabled by opaque targeting and hyper-targeted messaging, circumventing the necessary public scrutiny.

Tl;dr: Privacy is not just important for the individual. It’s a collective good. And keeping that collective commons safe from those who would seek to exploit it — for a quick buck or worse — is going to require a whole other type of oversight architecture.



Corporate, Marketing, Tech, Trending

Today InfoScout announced the launch of their company and their analytics dashboard for Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) marketers. Bain Capital Ventures, along with Founder Collective and Dunnhumby Ventures, led a $5M Series A funding round in the company. We are thrilled to be partnering with the InfoScout founders, Jared and Jon, along with the entire InfoScout team.

We’ve discussed in the past here and here the rise of Marketing as the next great function in enterprise technology. A new wave of startups is leveraging Big Data and cloud computing to deliver incredible power to CMOs, giving them access to real-time insights and helping them drive faster, more data-driven decisions. InfoScout is leading this trend in the CPG industry where the marketing challenge is even more acute since the CPG brands don’t’ have direct access to the customer data (this is owned by the retailers) and the customer purchases take place primarily offline.

Given the lack of access to customer data, the 4 trillion-dollar industry of Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) spends tens of billions of dollars on market research, syndicated data, and panel data to determine which products are selling to whom and why. For instance, why are a particular cereal brand’s sales declining? Are households substituting the brand for a private label brand? Are they shifting to other breakfast substitutes such as yogurt and granola bars? Or, are they simply eating less breakfast? Retail point of sale (POS) data is helpful for understanding aggregate SKU sales by retailer but sheds zero light on the behavior of individual consumers or segments of households.

The incumbent market research firms have tried to solve this problem by conducting surveys of households or by building panels of families who have to “self-report” their purchase behavior with the assistance of proprietary hardware solutions. The problem with the legacy data providers is that their solutions are typically not real-time (they often are one to two quarters behind); they have significant underlying data problems because they rely on human recollection and require significant reporting effort; and their solutions require significant professional services and consulting support to use.

InfoScout is entering this market with a disruptive solution – the first module of which they are launching today. With InfoScout’s dashboard, marketers at retailers and brands can access real-time household purchase data built on fifteen million offline receipts captured a year (via smartphones) containing 100 million SKU-level purchases with accurate prices and descriptions. The marketers can review and manipulate this data in an easy to use web and mobile interface – no coding, no data consultants, and no data warehouse folks required. Brand managers, shopper marketing analysts, CMOs, and CEOs can now for the first time (without calling a data jockey internally) see how their new product launches are performing instantly; how their marketing campaigns are affecting household buyer behavior; how competitor’s launches are impacting their sales; and whether these insights are consistent by demographic and geographic segment. In addition, because InfoScout has the richest data solution for offline CPG purchase data, these marketers can drill into granular levels of analysis that were never before possible.