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Digital: Disrupted: Adapting to the Digital Marketing Landscape: Navigating Generational Shifts and Data Privacy Regulations

November 10, 2023

In this week’s episode, Paul sits down with Derek Slager to discuss the generational changes happening across the digital marketing industry. Derek shares how data privacy regulations are shifting and how companies can build first-party data responsibly so they adhere to regulations.

Digital: Disrupted is a weekly podcast sponsored by Rocket Software, in which Paul Muller dives into the unique angles of digital transformation — the human side, the industry specifics, the pros and cons, and the unknown future. Paul asks tech/business experts today’s biggest questions, from “how do you go from disrupted to disruptor?” to “how does this matter to humanity?” Subscribe to gain foresight into what’s coming and insight on how to navigate it.   

About This Week’s Guest:    

Derek is the CTO and Co-founder of Amperity, a customer data platform. Derek believes in helping every brand turn complex customer data into business value. He has held leadership positions at various startup companies focused on large-scale distributed systems and security. 

Listen to the full episode here or check out some highlights below.

Digital Disrupted

Paul Muller: We seem to have progressed tremendously in terms of public policy, but I feel like I've never received more phone calls direct to my cell phone, to my mobile phone from people all around the world trying to either scam me or sell me something.

Derek Slager: Yeah, same.

PM: I mean, the fact that it has gotten to the point where the two of us have never met and we have this shared experience, that is usually the precursor to public policy changing. Do you think there's another wave coming, or is this a result of a proof point that the bad guys, the cyber criminals, the scammers, are enjoying the fact that most of these laws are, in fact, toothless tigers unless you happen to be a reputable company that's listed on the share market?

DS: Yeah, no, I think that's a valid point of feedback. I think we could rewind to probably sometime in the nineties when Can Spam came out and banned spam. I don't think I noticed any impact in that regulation. I still get hundreds of spam emails every single day despite the fact that you're not supposed to do that. So certainly, there are limits to what regulation can impact, to your point, outside of reputable companies that obviously have a strong incentive to follow the law and to follow regulation. And so that can be useful. Those large companies are ever larger these days, and they have a lot of impact. So, I wouldn't necessarily go so far as to say that the regulation is useless, but yes, my phone call log matches yours. And that's quite frustrating and clearly something that not just regulation can fix. Similarly, technology by itself can't just fix this, right?

Google can take away the third-party cookie from Chrome, but there are still elements that bad actors or gray actors can use to try and consolidate data. There's still some of the fundamental plumbing of the internet and knowing somebody's IP address and recognizing that those things can be pretty stable. So that's where regulation has to make a rule that's sort of outside of what's really plausible for technology. And so yeah, there's always going to be some dependence on good actors. I think, given the lack of third-party unification, there's a much smaller space for the bad actors to exploit and take advantage of it if you look at it through the lens of advertising technology. And so yes, they will still exist, no question about it. And they will do things like fingerprinting and other things to try and sort of consolidate identities, but it'll be much harder for those things to make their way into legitimate marketplaces. And so, I think most of the commerce being done will be legitimate companies interacting with other legitimate companies, and I think that'll make the regulation a little bit more full and a little bit more effective than perhaps it's been in some other contexts. And we'll probably still get lots of spam, and we'll probably still get lots of phone calls that we don't want. There are limits.