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The Future of Privacy: Predictions for 2023

By Brook Terran

The hot-button issue of consumer privacy has been building, with more consumers aware than ever of targeted advertising practices. With a new year on the horizon, the industry will begin to see regulatory changes as early as January 2023. But what will these new privacy regulations mean for digital advertisers, and how can they ensure their businesses' success in its midst?

The following reflections from Tim Sleath, VP of product management at and Scarlett Shipp, president and COO of AnalyticsIQ break down the state of the industry, and the changes advertisers can expect to see from the start of the new year.

Forecast: Clarity, Codification and Court Challenges

Sleath with forecasts, "Despite the cookie status quo not actually changing in 2023 (as Google has pushed the Chrome third-party cookie deprecation to late 2024), there are a number of other aspects to digest.

The Connecticut, Colorado, Utah, and Virginia laws, plus California Privacy Rights Act (CPRA) now fully taking effect, further harmonize the approach to personal user data. Compliance with these laws is of course a given and utilizing the shiny new Global Privacy Platform and Multi-State Privacy Agreement to support new states and countries (i.e., Canada) should be top of all adtech privacy professionals' to-do list.

Leveraging the Global Privacy Platform across connected TV (CTV) as well as desktop/mobile will keep us all busy during the first half of 2023, at least. Beyond that, advertisers can look toward the future, as it turns toward first-party pixels and a swell of legislative decisions surrounding new privacy regulations."

The New Framework

Sleath continues, "We will learn in the new year what the European Court of Justice thinks of the Global Privacy Platform's predecessor, the Transparency & Consent Framework. My gut tells me the privacy string will be considered personal data, but IAB Europe will be regarded as a processor. There may be changes required to Consent Management Platforms that will need to act as the controller, and part of the consent dialogue with users will include consent for creating and distributing the privacy string.

On December 13, 2022, the European Commission launched the process to adopt an adequacy decision on the new EU-U.S. Data Privacy Framework. I predict adequacy will be achieved and transatlantic companies will eagerly adopt the new framework. Presumably, this will take a similar form to demonstrate compliance to the old Privacy Shield, but it may take a different form. For example, perhaps companies registered with trade bodies (e.g., IAB) could be blanket-approved.

What's also certain is that the new Framework will be challenged in court, leading to a Schrems III-type ruling. The principal issue with Privacy Shield was that U.S. government agencies like the NSA could ultimately strong-arm any U.S. company to hand over data, even if that involved EU citizens in the EU. That will be the key test of this new Framework – whether it empowers a company like Google to say 'No' to the surveillance agencies."

First-Party Pixels

Sleath also predicts that the industry will see a continued shift by brands to instrument their sites using first-party pixels via Google Tag Manager, Tealium or similar services. He said, "While the various laws don't differentiate between first and third-party pixels and cookies, browsers certainly do, and Google's shift of Google Analytics from UA to GA4, whilst slightly delayed, will certainly encourage advertisers to refresh how their sites capture data, and with whom that data is shared."

New Data Points and Transparency

Despite the immediate impact of these regulations, there are still ways to ensure that your brand is utilizing their data-driven advertising effectively. Scarlett Shipp, president and COO of AnalyticsIQ explained, "As consumer privacy regulations continue to evolve, the data industry will undoubtedly respond to meet these new legal requirements while allowing data-driven advertising to continue in an effective manner. For example, predictive and contextual data points created using analytics and data science can provide powerful and actionable insights – all while protecting consumer privacy, respecting a broad range of consumer rights, and ensuring compliance.

While due diligence has always been very important when considering data sources, it will become even more critical going forward. Partnering with companies who are completely transparent with the methodologies applied to meet regulatory requirements will be vital.

Going into 2023 and beyond, both data users and providers must constantly look to the future and remain prepared to address regulatory changes as they happen."

The views and opinions expressed are solely those of the contributor and do not necessarily reflect the official position of the ANA or imply endorsement from the ANA.

Brook Terran is the partner and co-founder of Evergreen & Oak.