Marketing, in and of itself, is a gigantic beast. There’s a common misconception that marketing is just sales with a bunch of pretty pictures, but as reality would have it, it’s a data juggernaut. We collect hundreds of thousands of points of data per year, yet it’s almost consistently dismissed by marketing professionals around the globe? So why do so many marketers seem to ignore data privacy?
I don’t like to excoriate my fellow marketers by making blanket statements. First, it’s patently untrue that marketers flat out ignore data privacy, but it’s almost entirely true that they don’t understand it–especially in the United States.
The United States is the worst offender at creating and maintaining patchworks of law that make almost no sense to the general public, yet we’re all expected to know what it is. What’s the old adage? “Ignorantia juris non excusat, (or ignorance of the law is not an excuse).”
At home, we’ve got so many privacy laws we don’t even really know what to follow. Everyone is talking about the CCPA, or the California Consumer Privacy Act, but no one is talking about how the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is also enforcing data privacy on a consistent and frequent basis.
So what do we do?
Ideally, we need to start learning. Pick up a course or two over at FutureLearn or even Coursera. Try to consume as much information as you can on the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation and the California Consumer Protection Privacy Act.
Make sure that you understand them inside and out so that as a marketer, you can help protect our biggest asset of all–data. And if you can’t understand them, hire a vDPO–or Virtual Data Protection Officer–who can and will help you make those connections.