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We’re now just four months away from the effective date of the General Data Protection Regulation, but for Criteo CEO Eric Eichmann, it’s still business as usual.
In a recent interview with Beet.TV, Eichmann shared his views on why the GDPR is a good thing for businesses and consumers alike.
GDPR has three aims:
- Modernize the legal system to protect personal data in an era of globalization and technological innovation.
- Strengthen individual rights while reducing administrative burdens to ensure a free flow of personal data within the EU.
- Bring clarity and coherence to personal data protection rules and ensure consistent application and effective implementation across the EU.
This last point is what Eichmann sees as a win-win situation for businesses and consumers alike, and Criteo has long been ready to meet the regulations head-on.
“We’ve had high standards of privacy since our founding in 2005,” says Eichmann. “We have a number of programs that incorporate privacy into everything we do, especially Privacy by Design. We do frequent assessments of what our privacy position is and any potential weaknesses we have are corrected.”
One of the things Criteo has done since 2008 is be a part of the ad-choices program that allows consumers to see how their data is being used and, if they want, to opt out via one click. Not only that, but the GDPR will require companies to appoint a Data Privacy Officer (DPO), a position Criteo has had since 2013.
“Our DPO is part of the product team, which means any product we develop goes through very specific privacy tests.”
GDPR: Consistency, Transparency and Trust
Eichmann sees the GDPR as a good thing because the regulations ensure consistency and transparency around companies in how they are collecting and using data. Eichmann explains in-depth the differences between explicit and unambiguous consent, and the non-sensitive types of data Criteo collects.
Criteo has not only long been compliant with certain aspects of the GDPR, but, as Eichmann points out, is well-positioned to help our clients and partners be aware of what they need to do as well.
For Criteo’s clients and partners, Eichmann says Criteo acts as “a consigliere to ecommerce sites to make sure they understand what the practices are around GDPR and provide best practices around compliance.”
For consumers, the GDPR provides consumers with both a level of trust and protection that can only make them more willing to interact with ecommerce sites.
Eichmann sites a Criteo survey in which 90% of consumers responded that they were aware of behavioral targeting, with 75% of them preferring targeted advertising than not.
“There’s a tacit agreement [between consumers and advertisers],” says Eichmann. “’As long as the rules are clear and I can trust the system, I can move forward.’”