Amid growing concerns about tougher data privacy restrictions, give people the opportunity to opt out and they might just give you more information about themselves, according to Tru Optik’s Andre Swanston. “We knew very early on that privacy compliance was going to be something critical for the future of our entire business,” the CEO and Co-Founder says in this interview with Beet.TV at the recent LUMA Partners Digital Media East event.
So a little more than two years ago, Tru Optik launched OptOut.TV to make it possible for consumers to opt out of data capture and control how data about them is tracked across devices. “It’s a mandatory part of every contract and partnership deal we’ve done over the last two years,” Swanston says.
Later this year, Tru Optik plans to divulge details about consumer participation in OptOut.TV, in addition to doing “a lot more consumer-facing advertising for that, as well along with some of our partners.”
In the meantime, Swanston says that “a significant percentage” of those who avail themselves of OptOut.TV or other data-control opportunities associated with Tru Optik, “many people aren’t actually opting out at all. They’re going in and adjusting their data. They’re giving more information” because they don’t want see things that are inappropriate or irrelevant.
Swanston’s take is that people just want their data to be used with transparency in a privacy compliant manner, along with the ability to opt out in a way “that actually enhances their experience.”
Asked about the business of tracking consumer identities for advertising purposes, he points to three permutations, the first two being device graphs yielding probalistic models, and work done by such data onboarders as TransUnion, Experian and Equifax. Then there is Tru Optik, which goes beyond a sole focus on individuals as it relates to TV because anyone in a household can be watching it at a given time.
He says advertisers want to know if they’re reaching the right type of household based on such factors as age and gender and the propensity of someone in the household being in the market for a product or service.
“Who cares on television about frequency capping just to your Roku or just to your Samsung TV?” Swanston says. “I want to frequency cap in the household. And so I think when we talk about identity, it’s really important not to just talk about individual identity but also understanding the makeup of the household, which is where Tru Optik uniquely sits in the market right now.”
As the discussion turns to workplace diversity, Swanston says Tru Optik is ahead of that particular societal curve because it’s in the company’s DNA.
“We would never have or need a Chief Diversity Officer. We don’t have one VP or SVP in the company that’s not a female. Almost forty percent of our engineering team are minorities. Half of our employees are first-generation Americans or immigrants.”