Aishwarya Ramesh

IAA and GALA launch handbook on global privacy law

The International Advertising Association and the Global Advertising Lawyers Alliance jointly launched a book that encapsulates privacy laws in different countries.

The Global Advertising Lawyers Alliance (GALA) and the International Advertising Association (IAA) came together to virtually launch a book titled ‘Privacy Law: A Global Legal Perspective on Data Protection Relating to Advertising & Marketing’. The book is published in two editions – one for the European Union (EU), and the other, keeping in mind privacy laws in other parts of the world.

IAA and GALA launch handbook on global privacy law

The book is aimed to be a guide for marketers on how privacy laws in different parts of the world can affect their marketing and advertising strategies.

IAA and GALA launch handbook on global privacy law

The virtual launch saw Unilever COO Nitin Paranjape weigh in. He acknowledged that because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the world is currently at a standstill and marketing is changing, since technology enables connections with audiences in different parts of the world.

Speaker Nitin Paranjpe at the virtual book launch
Speaker Nitin Paranjpe at the virtual book launch

“Governments across the world have been thinking in terms of rules and regulations, and how to handle data and privacy considerations,” he said.

Paranjape added that data privacy is becoming an increasingly important consideration for global tech giants. To give a sense of how important the conversation around privacy is becoming, he took the example of the annually held Consumer Electronics Show (CES). He explained that Google did not choose to highlight a new gadget/innovation, but chose to, instead, focus on Google Assistant’s privacy control options.

Paranjape also said that because of the circumstances surrounding COVID-19, the lockdown, and work from home in different parts of the world, consumers are spending more time online. The direct result of this is that data privacy is increasingly becoming the centre of the conversation, as digital engagement takes off.

He opined that marketers would benefit from a book like this one – especially as it takes stock of privacy and data laws in different countries. “It helps us understand the trends, developments in the trade and legislative space, but also what the environment of enforcement is, in the field of privacy, across 70-odd countries.”

According to Paranjape, the handbook treats privacy as a fundamental human right, and this thought is one that marketers need to begin embracing. “There is an enormous responsibility for all of us to come together and raise the bar on data privacy within our companies, and to use our influence to shape how the standards of data privacy are viewed. That should be one of the core tenets when we consider platforms and technologies that handle personal data.”

The launch was followed by a panel discussion led by IAA VP of government affairs Carla Michelotti. The panel saw participation from Daniel M. Goldberg. - Counsel, Privacy & Data Security Group at Frankfurt Kurnit Klein & Selz, Gowthamam Ragothaman – CEO, Aqilliz (a blockchain solutions provider) and Cecilia Alvarez - Facebook’s EMEA Privacy Policy Director.

Alvarez pointed out that when an app asks a consumer to give consent to use services, consent to give data is puts the onus of responsibility for data on the consumer. But in some cases, consent can be overlooked, especially in the case of contract tracing for the Coronavirus.

The example explained was of how the Singapore government notified citizens that it would use relevant consumer data without asking, in a bid to tackle the Coronavirus problem, and stop it from spreading.

The panel paid close attention to cookies – first and third party ones. In January this year, Google had announced that it would be disabling third party cookies. A first party cookie is one that contains data about consumer browsing and is stored by the website a consumer is visiting. A third party cookie is when an unrelated app/website stores data about a consumer’s browsing behaviour. The third party cookie is one that is being called out as unethical, as it stores and allows a third party to use consumer data.

At its core, the issue of the app ban is also an extension of increasing concerns over privacy. The Indian government recently banned 59 Chinese apps as they have been collecting consumer data, which is seen as prejudicial to sovereignty, integrity and the defence of India, the security of state and public order.

“There have been raging concerns on aspects relating to data security and safeguarding the privacy of 130 crore Indians. It has been noted recently that such concerns also pose a threat to sovereignty and security of our country,” said the Indian government, as reported by a news article.

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