Looming legislation that will change the rules of the game for ad tracking may be regarded by some with fear – but could Europe’s new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) actually be beneficial for everyone?

For the uninitiated, the GDPR came in to effect back in 2016, whilst the final deadline for compliance comes this May. Now any global company which deals with EU citizens’ data must comply with a new and more stringent set of demands, including:

  • tighter consent conditions for the collection of citizens’ data.
  • consumers can instruct companies to stop processing their data.
  • automated decision-making and profiling decisions must be made clear.
  • consumers can request decisioning by automated processes be stopped and handled by a human instead.
  • they have the right to request an explanation of automated decision-making.
  • they can request free access, rectification and deletion of data.

Breaching the new rules risks incurring a fine of up to 4% of global annual turnover, up to a maximum of €20 million.

But Criteo chief strategy officer Jonathan Opdyke, in this video interview with Beet.TV, says GDPR could be OK.

“The good thing about GDPR is that it’s actually codifying across European law, modernizing law, making it very clear where some of these things weren’t as clear before,” he says.

“Probably the most important piece of it is really understanding how specific types of data work, and what is personal data, what is non-sensitive, and sensitive personal data, and how that has to be treated.”

Opdyke took the time to explain the differences to Beet.TV: “Personal data is data that can directly identify an individual. And there are two different types of personal data:”

  • “So there’s actually the directly identifying (data) like a name, last name, phone number where you can put an actually person against it.”
  • “Then there’s pseudonymous … you don’t know who the person is, but you’re able to attach individual behaviors to that person to show them, see we’re a more relevant ad.”

“GDPR really does a good job of spelling out the differences between those and really encourages the use of pseudonymous data.”

Opdyke says Criteo only deals in the second category, pseudonymous data and believes it has never dealt with personal, sensitive, directly-identifying data.

This video is part of our series on the preparation and anticipated impact GDPR on the digital media world.  The series is presented by CriteoPlease visit this page for additional segments.