As more privacy regulations pop up, bringing on restrictions to how companies can use and handle customer information, the key for media will be first-party data, according to Havas Media’s US chief data officer Peter Sedlarcik.

First, GDPR altered how European companies could store and track customer data. Now, with the roll out of the California Consumer Privacy Act, the motion to protect customer privacy is coming to the US. Nineteen additional US states are considering introducing their own privacy regulations.

“Privacy is increasing the importance of first party data for clients we’re working with,” Sedlarcik told Beet.TV at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. “That is much more of a factor in informing media activations and other audience targeting efforts.”

According to Sedlarcik, building out customer databases has been a core component of companies’ ad buying and media strategies. Increasingly, he says, the competitive advantage will be building a database on owned data. For now, Havas Media’s job is primarily to help clients understand what data regulations mean for them, in particular, how it impacts their work. Good business for Havas Media is a compliant ecosystem of partnerships, because then its clients will be compliant, too.

Privacy concerns don’t take away from the excitement around ACR, connected TV and other data streams, however. The goal is to bring digital measurement capabilities to linear TV. “In many ways, it brings us closer to the viewers in terms of understanding what they’re viewing, how much they’re viewing, when they’re viewing,” Sedlarcik says. “There’s this promise that it brings us closer to taking the TV world into the digital media world.”

Bridging the gap of connectivity between linear TV and digital streaming and media services is the next step in addressability overall for media. But Sedlarcik warns against throwing all old methods of measurement out in favor of the new.

“A risk is getting a myopic view of viewing data based on a subset of the audience,” he says. “There’s a lot of promise, but there’s also a lot of caution and steps that need to be taken.”

This video is part of a series produced at CES 2020 called Television Redefined, sponsored by Samsung Ads.  For more videos, please visit this page.   

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