Freckle IoT Announces Attribution Backed by Fully Compliant First-Party Data

CCPA, California’s statewide privacy law, is set to take effect on New Year’s Day 2020. Nine more states have privacy legislation in the works. The harvesting and monetization of consumer data is plastered on the New York Times homepage, and a nationwide privacy law has become commonplace in political conversation.

With privacy top of mind for marketers, offline measurement firm Freckle IoT is hitting the market this morning with an expanded attribution product backed by just about the most compliant consumer data on the market. Its compliance is secure because it comes from Killi, a consent management company also founded and headed up by Freckle Founder and CEO Neil Sweeney.

While Freckle’s precise and compliant attribution solution should satisfy marketers looking for data they can trust, it is Sweeney’s second brainchild, Killi, that is the revolutionary store here, embodying the future of data collection and management in a privacy-conscious age.

With Killi, consumers sign up for an application that explicitly requests consent for their data. The mobile app gives users the choice of how much data they want to provide (disallowing location tracking, for example, while disclosing age and gender) and puts them directly in touch with brands who send them surveys in order to develop rich portraits of what they like. Consumers are compensated for their responses.

That is where the synergy of Freckle and Killi comes together, making this attribution announcement one to watch. Because Killi users tracked by location have very specifically consented to that form of data collection, it should come as no surprise when they get a survey from a QSR asking how they liked their fries and burger. That “would be super creepy,” says Sweeney, “If you weren’t using an app that were designed for that to happen.”

And there’s the rub. The growing conversation around privacy and data collection is showing consumers just how creepy it is when companies track them without their consent. For years, consumers have been tracked, commodified, and targeted with limited, if any, awareness. If tracking of the kind that has made tech one of the world’s wealthiest and most powerful industries is to continue in the post-CCPA era, brands will need to turn to secure data solutions (such as Killi, or the copycats to follow) to get the information needed for ad targeting and measurement. There will be a price to pay for 21st-century oil.

While the privacy conversation is moving forward fast, it is early days for the national discourse on data collection, and it is early days for Killi. That means the consent management solution may go far beyond answering surveys in exchange for cash and determining what data one shares with retailers and tech companies.

Sweeney sees a perhaps not too distant future when users deploy Killi as a mode of authentication, controlling which data they provide as they move about the Web. It is clear already that many consumers will be looking for an alternative to Facebook, which has failed to safeguard user data from third parties with poor security practices of their own.

What’s all the noise about, really? How did we go from over a decade of rogue data collection to a sudden awareness that this matters, and why do we care?

Privacy isn’t going away, says Sweeney, because data collection cuts to the core of consumers’ identities. The question is who will have the power to control that information going forward—the consumer herself or every company with the technical capacity to track her.

Consumers should have more control over their data. That means consumers should have more control over their identity,” Sweeney said. That’s what’s driving all the regulation.”

As consumers wise up to the dynamics of the data market, they can expect good money for their information, especially compared to the pennies, if anything, they are awarded now. Data, especially location data, has been subjected to “mass miscommodification,” Sweeney said. “Would you give thousands of location data points for pennies a month?”

When the market shifts, ad tech firms and brands alike are going to need access to fully compliant data. That means finding a consent management solution now rather than later. One thing’s for sure: The “catch-all ‘do you accept’ button” will not cut it.

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Joe Zappa is the Managing Editor of Street Fight. He joined Street Fight as a contributing writer in 2015, has compiled the daily newsletter since 2016, and has spearheaded the newsroom's editorial operations since 2018. Follow him on Twitter @joe_zappa, and shoot him an email at jzappa@streetfightmag.com.
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