When it comes to online privacy, big data and targeted advertising, there are many ways to divide Canadians into interest groups: businesses versus the public, the young versus the old, early adopters versus digital laggards. Among these groups, there seems to be no single, common sense approach to how information should be tracked online – or what to do with it once its collected.
To illustrate and, perhaps, simplify this complicated landscape, Marketing invited six people of varying ages, disciplines and backgrounds to discuss a few of the bigger issues facing marketers in this sphere. We’re offering an early look at a few snippets of that conversation to our MarketingMag.ca readers, but to read the full discussion, pick up the Feb. 18 issue of Marketing (and watch our short video series in the Feb. 18 iPad edition). The issue also includes feature stories on other important topics in Canadian privacy that are certain to impact most marketers in the country including new anti-spam regulations and soon-to-be-released guidelines for online targeting.
“Is it really Facebook’s fault that you’re so ingrained in this service that you’re willing to give up that information? I think that’s the way they’re looking at it as well. ‘We’ve created this amazing service that everybody wants to use and everybody’s on it. If people are willing to exchange their personal information… is it really our responsibility to do anything about it?'” – Marla Natoli, product manager, mobile, Olive Media
“Marketers can’t use… big data as a shortcut to build a relationship to the consumer. We call it big data, but in reality it’s nothing more than your hairdresser would know. Your hairdresser probably knows more than the data we’re collecting. [But] you talk to them and they build that relationship over time. As corporations, we can’t just say, ‘We got that data. Let’s jump from point A all the way to point D.’ We skipped points B and C.” – Philip Kwok, associate planner, Mindshare
“Will it be one of the large social networks in Canada, the States, or both, having a massive class action that actually goes through? Because that probably will focus the mind on this. That or else people will get mad and want to have something legislated out of existence. There is a strong possibility, sometime in the next five years, we will see a Social Media Act. It will happen.” – John Lawford, executive director/general counsel, The Public Interest Advocacy Centre
“Google is really the elephant in the room for me, because your Google digital footprint is so much more powerful than Facebook. The truism about ‘If you’re not paying for it, you’re the product’… how many times have we heard that? That cynicism is standing in the way of us developing a keen sense of the impact when somebody’s stuff gets curated or shared in a way that they’re not comfortable with.” – Sidneyeve Matrix, associate professor, Department of Media and Film, Queen’s University
“Your expectation of a level of privacy has an awful lot to do with where your habits around privacy were formed. I think what we’re seeing with younger people is almost a ‘so what, who cares’ attitude to some of the concerns of privacy that older generations have because they’ve never grown up in a world where you weren’t automatically sharing all of this stuff.” – Max Valiquette, managing director of intellectual property and content development, Bensimon Byrne
“People are setting up their own social boundaries by exploring what other people are sharing, and I feel like people from those situations are building their own ‘netiquette’ of what they think is okay to share. But they’re definitely exploring with the tools.” – Alex Guibord, PR and marketing assistant, Juice Mobile
There’s so much going on in privacy in Canada that Marketing is holding a half-day conference in Toronto to dig into some of the bigger topics and answer your pressing questions.