A survey is still a survey.

Asking people about their preferences (rather than inferring them) and then keeping them in a way that such people have no easy way to modify them or somehow stay in control has little to do with Zero-Party Data.

This would qualify as “declared data” but remain First-Party Data while retained (or “owned”) by the business that collected it in the first place. It could also turn into Second-Party Data if said business enters into an agreement to combine it with other data sets maintained by another company. …

Image: How the “consent trap” does away with the Marketing Data Technology landscape. Background: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/five-layers-marketing-data-technology-backbone-sergio-maldonado/

It is no coincidence that most digital advertising environments are quickly migrating towards cohort-based targeting and aggregated, anonymous reporting. At the same time, enhanced data anonymization techniques, and a growing list of built-in privacy features in the most popular public clouds, will result in shorter data retention periods and a replacement of individual customer records with statistical (AI) approaches for a wide range of tasks.

Changes in the first group affect marketing data activation. Changes in the second group affect the deeper layers of the MarTech and data analytics stack. …

[Updated on June 30th 2021 to reflect the new estimated date for third-party cookies to be deprecated in Chrome browsers, as well as Apple’s privacy-enhancing plans for iOS 15.]

Given the amount of noise and confusion around the topic, and how much we may have contributed to it ourselves, here’s a little summary of the post-3P cookies*, post-ATT** situation as it affects the intersection of Marketing, Data, Technology, and Privacy. It should hopefully clarify things and help marketers plan for the months ahead.


The way things stand today, there is a common belief that first-party data will become the new…

The scientific mindset is crucial for anything to work, but I believe it should take a back seat in matters of marketing or law.

When in charge, engineers will only aspire to turn the marketing discipline into a science of predictable revenue, and CFOs will be naturally quick to embrace it at the expense of real value. This aberration brought us (Multi-Channel) Marketing Attribution.

When managed by engineers, privacy compliance becomes a radical, binary choice. Companies will either fully comply or deserve a bashing. This anomaly brought us Privacy Fundamentalism.

Funny enough, both are opposite sides of the same coin…

Direct To Consumer retailers are popping up by the minute. Follow your passion, make those new recycled plastic shoes or cruelty-free cosmetics, and Shopify and others will guarantee that you’re up and running in no time.

It is wildly exciting to think that the entire world has just become your potential market. After all, the internet is limitless, its doors open to anyone.

Then reality sinks in: the same limitlessness could guarantee that your business dies in oblivion, buried in an ocean of impossible discovery/distribution. Or, at best, it could result in what others have called a “bonsai brand”, never…

A random poser.

Given their recent feud, let me get started by making it clear that this is not a Facebook-sponsored article, or anything of the sorts. In fact, I mostly try to avoid Facebook in its various shapes and have little faith in their compassionate advocacy of small businesses.

The whole point here is shining a light on a less denounced hypocrisy: Apple’s stance on privacy.

I am pretty certain that playing by the iPhone maker’s rules (as many of us are obliged to, whether as businesses or consumers) is doing little for our collective and individual privacy, but I am even…

Photo by Cody Hiscox on Unsplash

There’s been much talk of Zero-Party data in recent months, starting with some groundwork provided by Forrester Research:

“Zero-party data is that which a customer intentionally and proactively shares with a brand. It can include preference center data, purchase intentions, personal context, and how the individual wants the brand to recognize her.”

eConsultancy had a go at it too, explaining that Zero Party data “aligns with the customer’s desire for personalisation, as it enables them to proactively state what they want from a brand in exchange for their personal information”.

These and other independent analysts have done a good job…

Photo by Harshil Gudka on Unsplash

(This is an updated version of “The world after Big Tech: what the internet could look like in 2028”, cross-posted on LinkedIn earlier this year.)

After July’s Big Tech congressional hearing, many of us grew pretty certain that a case could be made to apply existing antitrust laws to Google’s ownership of DoubleClick and YouTube, or Facebook’s acquisition of Instagram and WhatsApp.

But a break-up of both companies would hardly solve the underlying issue: society’s natural trend (and strong incentives) to aggregate around a single big player for each of those value propositions. …

Photo by Matthias Wagner on Unsplash

He aprovechado el cierre de la primera temporada de nuestro podcast, Masters of Privacy, para hacer un resumen de las cinco lecciones principales que yo me llevo de veintiuna entrevistas y algunos monográficos. Se trata, al fin y al cabo, de extraer el máximo valor a todos estos intercambios con grandes profesionales del marketing, la protección de datos, la tecnología y la estrategia de negocio.

Cada una de estas conclusiones podría haber sido un post en sí mismo. Y tal vez terminen siéndolo en versiones futuras más autosuficientes, pero ahora mismo considero útil aprovechar los vasos comunicantes entre todas ellas…

Photo by alev-takil on Unsplash

El pasado jueves 13 de febrero celebramos una nueva edición de los #DesayunosPrivacy, en esta ocasión dedicados a la industria hotelera, y convenientemente celebrados en Palma de Mallorca.

Con una combinación de responsables de marketing tradicional, marketing digital y delegado de protección de datos (DPO) en el sector, arrancamos el desayuno con una sesión de brainstorming sobre el impacto percibido en diferentes organizaciones sobre operaciones de Marketing como consecuencia directa o indirecta de la llegada del GDPR (desde el 25 de mayo de 2018).

A la inevitable enumeración compartida de consecuencias negativas para prácticas hasta la fecha habituales (expiración de…

Sergio Maldonado

CEO at PrivacyCloud | founder at Divisadero (now Merkle) & Sweetspot (now ClickDimensions) | JD, LL.M (IT & Internet law), CIPP/E

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