Marketers should view data privacy legislation such as the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and California’s Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) as a golden opportunity rather than a hindrance. From a marketing research and intelligence perspective, these laws incentivize companies to invest in consumer-consented primary data, which not only builds customer trust but serves a competitive advantage as well.
In 2018 Californians voted to pass the CCPA, and by the following year, at least 25 U.S. states had proposed similar legislation in response to growing consumer demand for data privacy . The below graphic illustrates the current status of such laws.
Even marketers whose companies are not yet impacted should get ahead of legislation (and their competitors) by establishing their brands as leaders in data privacy. Some consumers are currently apathetic toward data privacy because, aside from occasional security breaches, the only visible consequences are tailored promotions that create value. As a result, 61% of American consumers are willing to share personal data for personalized marketing communications . However, the stakes will be raised as artificial intelligence opens the door to disruptive, data-powered AI products that interconnect a multitude of highly personal, previously un-linkable data points.
Focusing on customer-consented data also confers a competitive advantage because it’s unique to your business, whereas third-party data is also available to competitors. Brands that invest in opt-in data practices not only shield themselves from liability in cybersecurity lawsuits but benefit from a core group of customers who want to engage.
That said, marketing research and intelligence needs differ, and primary research can be both expensive and time-consuming. Some companies may be limited by those factors or need third-party data to survey an exceptionally large sample size. Luckily for those marketing teams, only 5% of consumers have opted out of data tracking since the EU adopted the GDPR in 2018 , and given the exponential rate of new data creation, data brokers are unlikely to go out of business anytime soon.
 Kreutzer, Laura. “PE Firms Brace for New Frontier in U.S. Data Privacy Regulation; Private-Equity Firms Will have to Adapt to a New Era of Data Privacy Legislation, as a Fresh Wave of Privacy Bills Emerged Across the U.S. in 2019, Following the 2018 Passage of the California Consumer Protection Act.” WSJ Pro.Private Equity (2019)ProQuest. Web.
 Koetsier, John. “61% of Americans Will Share Personal Data for Personalized Marketing Communications,” Inc., August 8, 2018, https://www.inc.com/john-koetsier/61-of-consumers-will- share-personal-data-for-personalized-marketing-communications.html
 Pollitt, Chad. “What Digital Marketers Need to Know About California’s New CCPA Law,” Social Media Today, January 14, 2020, https://www.socialmediatoday.com/news/what-digital-marketers-need-to-know-about-californias-new-ccpa-law/570356/