Facebook and GDPR: Insights from a digital media buying agency

As a digital media buying agency, we can help you understand how recent changes to Facebook’s privacy policy affect your website to ensure that you are meeting the company’s new requirements.

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In the wake of the Cambridge Analytica data privacy scandal, and with the European Union implementing its General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) laws, Facebook has made changes to its user privacy policy. While the Cambridge Analytica situation was more related to the mishandling of data by app developers, the policy changes have gone beyond app integrations to address bigger privacy concerns that many Facebook users have had for a long time. This has forced most digital media buying agencies into strategy adjustments for their clients.

Many marketers are panic-stricken, asking themselves: “How will this affect my business marketing activities?” But fear not, as a top Florida advertising agency, we pride ourselves on being intuitive and proactive when it comes to helping our clients understand and navigate changes like this in their industry. In other words, we’ve got your back!

If you are using Facebook advertising, you probably use custom audiences or the Facebook Pixel to help you with targeting the proper audiences. As of earlier this year, there are changes you must follow in the way you collect data. New Facebook rules require you to comply with the following 4 actions:

1. Get explicit consent from each person in your database to track and remarket to them through Facebook.

There are a number of ways to do this including sending a mass email to everyone for whom you have contact information and asking that they reply with their consent.  From there, you must remove those who deny consent or don’t reply from your database. Yes, that involves some work, but you have to do it to be in compliance.

2. Make it clear to all website visitors going forward that you are collecting data.

Many companies today use what is commonly referred to as a “cookie banner” to allow people to accept or decline cookies. You might also seek consent as part of an email list sign-up process. You’ll want to discuss these needs with your web development company.

3. Make it easy for users to reject cookies and withdraw their consent at any time.

For those who change their mind about allowing you to track them, you must have a way to erase all of their data. Of course, the easier that is to do, the less time your team will have to spend doing it. So, coming up with an efficient process is key!

4. Be prepared to notify users of a data breach.

If hackers get unauthorized access to data in your possession, you must notify everyone whose data is potentially compromised within 72 hours. That isn’t going to be a fun note to send out, but doing it helps protect your customers from the hackers and helps your reputation in the long run.

How does this affect the value of Facebook as a marketing platform?

No question about it… marketers need user data to target and reach the right audience on Facebook, and the new rules will mean that less data is going to be available. This digital media buying agency definitely feels your pain!

Should you quit the platform? No, we’re not recommending that. But, it’s important to give some thought to how your strategy needs to evolve. Should you shift some resources to another platform? Temporarily cut back on your Facebook spend to see how things shake out? There’s a lot of questions!

As an experienced digital media buying agency, we can help you understand how the new focus on data privacy will affect your marketing efforts. Contact us today and let’s talk about getting you into — or keeping you in — compliance.

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