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Mobile Monday: Privacy Debate Heats Up, Attribution Gets ‘Vote of No Confidence’

Posted Mar 10, 2019

Do consumers really care about privacy? A report by Global Web Index found that less than half (49%) of digital consumers agreed that they feel in control of their personal data. But do users really care, asks Adweek, or is their need to use an app higher than their concern about whether their personal data is being misused? The privacy debate rages on… and one big player exited the building with a surprising announcement.

Facebook’s Pivot to Private Messaging
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg finally admitted defeat on the privacy battle, saying that privacy isn’t a word many consumers associate with the platform: “Frankly, we don’t currently have a strong reputation for building privacy protective services.” Rather than continuing to fight for what seems to be a lost cause, he has announced a new focus on private, encrypted messaging platforms – leveraging and integrating the three existing messaging apps owned by the company (WhatsApp, Instagram, and Facebook Messenger).

While this won’t affect ad targeting, brands might find it harder to engage with customers through Facebook’s messaging platforms, according to one Forrester analyst. “Zuckerberg is trying to find an impossible balance between pushing for more users and more time spent in-app to fuel more advertising dollars, while also trying to build a ‘privacy-first experience,’ all under a cloud of potential anti-competition breakups.”

Another State Jumps On the Personal Data Bus
Meanwhile, a bill just cleared the Washington State Senate vote in a landslide (46-1) that would give consumers the right to prevent their personal data from being used for some forms of ad targeting. If it clears the House, Washington will join California in regulating companies’ use of personal data, Mediapost reported.

MMA MTA Marketers Don’t Understand Data-Driven Attribution
Less than 10% of US marketers polled by ClickZ and the attribution firm Fospha rated their company’s current understanding of data-driven attribution as “excellent,” eMarketer writes. The majority of the group felt their understanding to be neutral (27.3%), below average (22.7%) or very poor (11/7%).

Much of the reason behind this lack of understanding is the recent shift in the industry to multi-touch attribution, where marketing credit can be assigned to more than one touchpoint or channel, rather than simply crediting the “last click,” or the last ad a customer clicks before purchasing or converting. eMarketer forecasts that 58% of US companies will use multichannel attribution in 2019 – but just because they’re using them doesn’t mean they are understood.

Good news! If you’re a member of the Mobile Marketing Association, as we are, they have a free tool that can help you understand the data assets needed for successful Multi-Touch Attribution execution. Get the MTA DataMap now.

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