DMA participated in a March 13, 2014 White House meeting with advertising and marketing trade associations and representative member companies to discuss practices and trends in “big data” collection and analytics, various uses of data in the advertising sector, and present/future challenges in the space.  This is part of a charge from President Obama back in January, who called on John Podesta, Counselor to the President, to lead a working group on a 90 day examination of the issue of “big data.”   At the end of the 90 day review, the working group is expected to produce a report to the President.

Mr. Podesta explained that the White House is focused on two initiatives:  

  • The first involves the government making more of the data it holds available to the public.  He said the White House wants to promote the use of data because there is potential “upside” and benefits that can flow from private sector access and use of large data sets held by the government. 

We discussed

restraints on particular uses of “big data” and marketing data, and prohibitions against collection.  DMA and others explained the emergence of mobile, social, web and location data on marketing and advertising innovation – including real time bidding exchanges, analytics products, and data platforms.  The White House team was very interested in how personally identifiable information (“PII”) is used to tailor advertising and provide additional benefits. 

A great example of a successful industry self-regulation program that educated consumers on their choices about interest-based advertising is the Digital Advertising Alliance and their program.

The conversation concluded with a series of questions involving companies’ experiences in Europe and how the regulatory environment there has impacted American companies doing business in Europe.  

DMA will continue to support the White House initiative on privacy and “big data.”


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