Intern Analysis

Sydney Pascarella

On May 25th, Google updated their privacy policy in order to comply with the European Union’s new data privacy rule. The European Union passed GDPR, General Data Protection Regulation, in 2016 to address how companies can store and share their consumers' personal data. The European Union is enacting this rule in efforts to create “Privacy by Default,” and to change how companies think about and use data.

General Data Protection Regulation

So, what is the GDPR? The General Data Protection Regulation was created to give individuals more control over their personal data. In addition, it was created in efforts to ensure that companies were only collecting what is necessary, with consumers' permission, and to make certain that their data collecting/sharing methods are safe.

Does GDPR apply to US companies and residents? Only “kind of.” Due to the global nature of the internet, although a company may not be located in the European Union, their business may serve consumers that reside there. Serving those customers (whether one or one billion) requires changes to how a technology service operates, and some of those changes will affect U.S. users.

For more information on GDPR compliance check Compliance Junction's concise article

What does this mean for Google?

For any of you that have personal Google accounts (and who doesn’t?), Google will still be collecting your information to personalize your experience across their multiple platforms. Their business model, after all, is based on making your life easier in exchange for your information. Typically, the information Google collects is used to improve Google’s ad placement. The more Google knows, the more accurately it can place ads according to specific individuals’ interests. When Google is successful, companies pay them a lot of money to place their ads. So, it's in Googles interest to make it worthwhile for you to provide them information; part of making it worthwhile means making it safe. 

What platforms are a part of Google?

  • Search
  • Chrome
  • YouTube
  • Android OS
  • Google Maps
  • G-Suite Email
  • And many more niche products... 

How will Google use my information across platforms?

By way of example, Google will combine individual’s information across tools to create useful functions. Google may check your calendar and see that you listed a meeting today at 12:15p, six miles away from your office. At 11:45a, Google Maps recognizes that there is traffic. Based on the monitored conditions, Maps will send you a notification warning that you should leave, otherwise you will be late to the meeting. In exchange for this kind of convenience, you let Google know what places you go to, when, and possibly even why, helping them to better understand your interests.

They’ll use your information to show you specific ads, and likewise to show people interested in your own products and services your ads. This is the important part for companies that hire digital marketing agencies: Google does not share the data about users, Google only uses an individual’s data to get the right ads in front of the right people - the people most interested in those products or services. And users can control what information Google uses to show them those ads. Google actually has a pretty clear videoexample of how someone interested in mountain biking benefits from this information coordination.

What does your company need to do for your website in order to comply with the update?

  • Revamp your privacy policy in order to be clear with consumers and explain what data you are obtaining from them if they visit your site.
  • Provide information to your consumers on how they can protect their privacy if they wish to do so.
  • Provide information to your consumers on how they can delete their information if they wish to do so.

Could Google’s privacy update benefit my company?

Definitely! This update help explain to people, in clear language, how their data is used to personalize their accounts and what their options are to protect their data. Think of it like cleaning and confirming all the data a website or app stores. Therefore, for someone who frequents your website, Google will be able to verify and use their accurate data and display your advertisements for the appropriate person. The work to find your target audience is done for you. 

This update is also an opportunity to build trust with your consumers. By revealing the data you are collecting from your consumers, your transparency will build public trust. When you start from trust, you can build a deeper consumer relationships and you’ll be starting with a more positive attitude toward your brand. When people have a feeling that the data you are collecting from them is safe, it allows them to place more of their trust in your company, brand, and products than they can with some of your competitors. So don't worry about GDPR. This is a good step toward improving privacy, trust, and the ROI for advertising investments. 

Werkbot Intern: Sydney Pascarella

Werkbot's Summer 2018 Intern, Sydney Pascarella, is completing her Bachelors of Science in Integrated Marketing Communication and Bachelor of Arts in Art at Slippery Rock University. We’ll be watching her career closely (and maybe you should, too) as she graduates in the Spring of 2019 and pursues positions in the field of Integrated Marketing Communication.

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