Privacy Issues for Advertisers: A Robust Conversation

November 12, 2020

The increasing complexity of digital advertising presents many challenges for industry legal counsel and their clients. A panel of legal experts discussed these challenges and ways to navigate them.

Collaborating with Clients Remotely

  • Frequent zoom meetings and project management tools like help employees work together despite the remote work environment. As a national and global company, the staff already had experience connecting with colleagues virtually, which allowed the brand to adapt quickly to the remote work environment demanded by the pandemic.

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Data Usage and Customer Engagement

  • If clients are leveraging call centers to connect with prospects or lapsed customers, it’s important to comply with the telemarketing sales rule and in certain situations obtain consent. The brand must also be aware of “do not call” requirements. Laws can differ between states, so it’s important that the marketer have his or her robust plan approved before dialing any numbers.
  • Global companies may wrestle with differences in laws from country to country. Brands must decide if they’ll create content that is suitable to use globally which adheres to the strictest regulations, or if they’ll manage a patchwork of compliant content and activations.
  • Emailing tends to incur less risk than calling new customers. Marketers must keep in mind that they need to give notice in regard to the brand’s ability to send customers emails and they must provide a means to unsubscribe.

Complying with COPPA (Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act)

  • Some brands are surprised by what falls under this rule. Even B2B companies must be mindful of their online content. For example, if the site uses colors, animations, and flashing graphics, it may be considered appealing to kids even if kids are not the intended audience. Brands should review data exchanges to ensure they are in compliance with COPPA. COPPA can come into play as programmatic marketing and ad exchanges may be used to place digital ads on kid-focused sites without the brand being aware.

GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) and CCPA (California Consumer Privacy Act)

  • With the CCPA having been rolled out it’s important to shift mindsets internally so business partners are aware of and prioritize privacy rights. It’s important to parse through a request from a business partner to determine if there is more than one topic or action the partner needs legal guidance on.
  • In light of GDPR, data verification mechanisms need to be up to par. If a company needs to give data access to customers, it must consider how it will manage the distribution of the data.
  • Golf company Calloway invested in a privacy rights software when CCPA went into place. This helped remove the burden of compliance from the business teams, and it helped the legal team do its job more efficiently. Adopting this software was a result of the company’s leadership making data privacy a priority.

Data Security in a Remote Work Environment

  • There is more control and visibility when the company provides devices (phones, laptops, etc.). If your organization permits employees to use their own devices, review and update policies regarding usage.
  • If not in place already, create an incident response program.
  • Some employees will adapt readily to working from home, others will take time to adjust. Be patient and work toward building and maintaining comradery.

"Privacy Issues for Advertisers: A Robust Conversation." Liisa M. Thomas, Partner and Lead Privacy and Cybersecurity Team at Sheppard Mullin Richter and Hampton, LLP; Andra Dallas, Senior Production Clearance Counsel at; Idress Kechida, VP, Associate General Counsel and Chief Privacy Officer at Match Group; Rebecca Hanovice, Senior Corporate Counsel at Callaway Golf. ANA Marketing Law Conference, 11/11/20.

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