Data Transparency Label: A Turning Point for Security?
Security – online security, that is – continues to be a growing concern. Any person, place or thing which can be found in an online search is at risk. And when it comes to marketing, there are potential doubts as to what audiences are being targeted and whether the related data is reliable. In a perfect world, the answer to these issues would be for all online parties to stay transparent. But it is not a perfect world, and to “stay transparent” may be easier in theory than in practice. Until now. Introducing the “Data Transparency Label,” which may be a first step in handling these issues.
What is the Data Transparency Label and what is its purpose?
As explained by Barry Levine for Martech, the concept of the Data Transparency Label was created several months ago by the IAB (Interactive Advertising Bureau) as a framework for sellers of audience segment data sets. The layout and look of this framework was inspired by the nutrition facts label that appears on the side of any packaged food item. Imagine, for example, a packaged loaf of bread. The nutrition facts label on the side lists how much sugar, salt, grams of fat, and additional information is contained in the bread. On the Data Transparency Label, however, stats list the branded name, standard name, audience description, and other details that relate to a particular set of data. In short, the nutrition facts label keeps shoppers informed about food, and the Data Transparency Label keeps marketing professionals informed about data.
Image credit: Martech
Benefit to advertisers
When advertisers purchase data-targeted advertising, the path – from source-to-destination – has not always been clear, and if there were negative ramifications, the place of blame was on the advertiser. With the implementation of the Data Transparency Label, accountability is now on the seller of this information. Components to help with this new system include a centralized database where information is entered and processed, and a compliance program. Both will enable registered users to examine labels.
It may be a slow start
As this is still a new system, and is currently still in the beta stage, the effectiveness of the Data Transparency Label remains to be seen. And, as Alan Wolk writes in Forbes, the customer is left out of the process. Should Data Transparency Labels hopefully achieve its goal of what may be called “genuine transparency,” there will be more satisfied (or fewer dissatisfied) customers in time. In any case, the time to take practical (and applicable) steps in addressing the lack of online transparency is now.
Consider the fallout Facebook received from the Cambridge Analytica scandal and the recent security breach of 50 million accounts. And even Google was discovered to have security issues, and as of this writing, “Google +” pages are being shut down on account of a data breach which exposed user information. The common denominator: faulty security. If iconic online presences like these are vulnerable, any site is vulnerable. And maybe the advent of the Data Transparency Label can be part of a foundation where security is, well, secured.
As stated earlier, the belief and practice of being transparent on the Internet is great in theory, but difficult in practice. The release of the Data Translation Label may be the beginning of a new age of honest and accountability. You know – transparency. Time will tell.
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