Consent and Privacy Platforms for Ad Buyers

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With the online privacy compliance space quickly evolving in 2021, ad buyers and agencies are struggling to keep up. Virginia became the latest state to implement its own privacy regulations earlier this month, but it won’t be the last. 

Ad buyers in 2021 are dealing with more than just a few new state privacy laws. They’re also balancing newer regulations against increased restrictions coming from tech companies themselves. That includes new restrictions from Google, which made headlines when it announced that it would stop selling ads based on users’ individual browsing histories. 

Privacy compliance standards and managing consumer sensitivities while simultaneously pushing the envelope in effectively targeting prospects using compliant techniques is something that ad buyers around the globe are dealing with right now. It’s part of the reason why privacy has become so central to the future of local media and commerce, and it’s helped to create a new category of privacy and consent management platforms designed to help ad buyers make sure their media buys are meeting the latest standards.

An incredible amount of innovation is happening within the privacy compliance space right now, and these consent management tools are just several examples. Here are six privacy tools worth checking out.

1. Sourcepoint
Sourcepoint became the latest consent management platform with a product aimed squarely at ad buyers when it announced the launch of a tool called Privacy Lens earlier this month. Privacy Lens uses scanning technology to measure how well websites are complying with the latest privacy laws, as well as which trackers individual websites are using, what data they are collecting, and where that data is going. The tool is meant to be complementary to traditional viewability and fraud solutions, so ad buyers can check whether publishers are properly following the latest privacy frameworks for compliance.

2. GroupM
Ad buyers that want to know about the ethical risk level associated with certain data assets can use GroupM’s new brand-safety tool, the Data Ethics Compass. The Data Ethics Compass tool was launched in early February as part of a partnership between GroupM and Unilever. It was developed to help brands mitigate the risk associated with advertising on certain publisher websites. The tool itself relies on proprietary scoring logic to assess the risk level of data assets. Rather than using AI or machine learning, the Data Ethics Compass uses surveys to create risk bands and then recommends actions based on any risks that are discovered.

3. Aqfer
A purpose-built SaaS platform, Aqfer helps agencies and advertisers with privacy compliance. The platform is built around the idea that today’s brands work with a range of service providers for advertising and marketing, and each of those providers has its own framework for gathering and managing data. Aqfer’s solution adds more controls over how data is handled to decrease any chances of non-compliance. Aqfer says its procedures for handling data are scalable and repeatable, and they offer brands a way to maintain centralized control of data onboarding, transfer, and maintenance according to the latest data privacy framework.

4. Ethyca
Ethyca’s compliance tools can be set up in minutes, so users can quickly come into compliance with the latest CCPA, GDPR, and CPRA guidelines. Aimed primarily at brand marketers, Ethyca’s platform integrates with users’ existing SaaS stacks with pre-built data integrations. It includes automated data maps, data subject requests, and consent management tools. Ethyca preemptively flags entitlement issues to protect against potential data access errors and offers users the ability to set defined risk thresholds so they’re automatically notified when risky data processing is taking place.

5. OneTrust
OneTrust’s CMP was built for large advertisers and publishers, with the ability to collect and centralize consent records across all web platforms, mobile apps, OTT, AMP, and offline channels. Advertisers can use Consent Mode to attribute conversions to campaigns and gather more insights into data while also respecting consumer consent. Users can share signals by syncing their accounts with Salesforce DMP, IAB TCF, Google DFP (AdSense / AdX), Google Tag Manager, and Adobe DTM. In August, OneTrust expanded its OTT compliance capabilities, which means advertisers are better able to capture consent and preferences from within OTT applications and connected TV.

6. mParticle
mParticle provides advertisers with a consent management framework that’s designed to manage all consent and opt-out privacy obligations under the GDPR and CCPA. The framework itself is what mParticle describes as a “standard technique” for collecting, storing, and applying consent choices. Companies have the ability to “forward” the consent state to their digital partners, so any changes to the state of a consumer profile can be communicated and adjustments can be made.

Stephanie Miles is a journalist who covers personal finance, technology, and real estate. As Street Fight’s senior editor, she is particularly interested in how local merchants and national brands are utilizing hyperlocal technology to reach consumers. She has written for FHM, the Daily News, Working World, Gawker, Cityfile, and Recessionwire.