The internet is taking security and privacy much more seriously.
After years of high profile breaches and leaks the public’s perception has changed regarding their personal data. More scrutiny is being given to the websites we use, their terms of service, and what information we’re willing to provide on a daily basis.
Due to the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in the EU, companies of all sizes have been forced to reevaluate how they capture, store, and utilize this personal data. Many have been making proactive changes to help eliminate bad practices and resolve their customer’s concerns.
Major players such as Apple, Google, and Firefox have made changes to protect their customers, and as a result have impacted the effectiveness of our digital marketing efforts.
Google Chrome is one of the most popular web browsers in the world and has been slowly making changes to support a more secure web. Starting this July it will begin to visibly flag sites as “Not Secure” and will be making those alerts more apparent over time. In highly competitive industries your website being flagged as “Not Secure” could easily push prospective customers away.
A secure website helps to ensure that any data entered will be encrypted and securely transmitted from the browser to the website. By adding a secure certificate to your website, you will benefit from reduced in-browser warnings, search engine ranking benefits, potential speed increases, and ensure your visitor’s data is secure.
In the wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal many people became more concerned with how ubiquitous Facebook’s reach was when tracking its users. Firefox decided to tackle this issue head on by creating their Facebook Container Extension. This plugin allows you to visit Facebook as usual but stops you from being tracked when you are outside of Facebook.
Social sharing buttons, cookies, and widgets owned by Facebook are spread all over the internet on hundreds of thousands of websites. Each time someone visits one of these sites Facebook can use that data to begin to build a profile on that consumer. That data can then be used by advertisers to reach an audience with in-depth targeting. The Facebook Container Extension puts a wall around Facebook ensuring they only know the information you provide directly via Facebook.com.
With upcoming updates to the Mac, iPhone, and iPad’s operating systems Apple is ramping up protection for its users. By default, Safari will block 3rd party sources (Such as social sharing tools or cookies) from tracking you unless you explicitly opt-in.
In addition, Safari will restrict the amount of information it provides regarding your device in an effort to curtail advertisers from using it to “fingerprint” visitors. These digital “fingerprints” are used as a marker to uniquely identify a person or device so advertisers can build more robust targeting profiles.
Many of these changes will slow down or eliminate data sources used by advertising platforms, which may impact the quality of how well the can target or retarget certain audiences. It will take a number of months to see what kind of effect this will have, and some targeting methods may remain viable until that audience has some larger swings in how they interact online and with their devices.
When paid advertising is threatened by changes in technology more companies rely on Organic Search, Social Media, and Email Marketing to reach their target audience. It’s well worth considering how your current strategy will have to adjust once these changes start to take effect.