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January 25, 2019. | Data security Infrastructure News

Google becomes biggest casualty of data regulations

Web giant Google has become the first major victim of GDPR legislation after it was fined €50 million for breaching the data regulations which came into force last May.

As detailed on the Penta blog last year, the EU’s GDPR laws aim to make it easier for consumers to know who has access to their data – whether that is their online shopping preferences or their phone number and email address.

Google was fined €50 million by the French data regulator CNIL over its ‘lack of transparency, inadequate information and lack of valid consent regarding ad personalisation’, adding people were ‘not sufficiently informed’ about how the American tech giant collected data to personalise advertising.

Companies which fail to comply with GDPR regulations can be faced with fines of up to 4 per cent of their global turnover, hence Google’s large punishment.

Privacy

The ruling comes after a senior figure in UK online marketing called on businesses to ‘transform their approach to privacy and how they do business’ by being more transparent in the way in which customer data is used.

Speaking at a conference in London, attended by Penta, Rachel Aldighieri, Managing Director of DMA Group, claimed 78% of UK consumers believed businesses benefited disproportionately from data exchange in the UK and said it was up to firms to change this poor perception.

“Technology allows for so many possibilities – offering marketers the opportunity to target, track and analyse their customers and potential customers to personalise the experience. Yet all too often we are getting carried away with these opportunities and doing clever stuff with data just because we can without enough thought about the person and how it meets their needs.

Experience

“Data is the key to personalisation and customer engagement, but when we cross the line and the experience becomes creepy or even unfairly biased, then we have gone too far,” she said.
She urged businesses to take a step back and look at how they used clients’ data to deliver a better experience for them time and time again.

 

 Why GDPR matters

 Reasons to take note of the GDPR laws
 Huge fines outlines in EU’s flagship data policy
 Penta blog

“Transparency is key for people’s understanding of why and how you are using their data. Personalisation for marketing driven by business needs versus customer needs may result in short-term gains but the long-term relationship will suffer. Trust will be lost. And as personalisation relies on the exchange of personal data, trust is fundamental,” she said.

Regulations

If implemented correctly, increasing the level of transparency could yield greater consumer confidence, Aldighieri said, as she suggested companies should use customer data to reward people for loyalty and engagement, all the while being careful to monitor the applicable regulations.

“Demonstrating an understanding of preferences and past interactions will empower a customer and make them feel important – and by surprising them with something relevant and valued together, that begins to build an emotional connection. The key to success is building respect through transparency, creativity and integrity.”

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