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Privacy

ICO issued fines of £42million last year

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has issued a number of final civil monetary penalties in 2020, totalling £42,416,000 – The reasons for the fines included breaches of Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations (PECR) and the Data Protection Act (DPA). 

The data, contained in the ICO’s ‘work to recover fines’ report and analysed by the Parliament Street Think Tank, reveals a catalogue of fines issued across a variety of sectors.

The analysis shows the scale of the fines highlights the severity of the problem. A total of 17 penalties were issued last year according to official figures. The largest fine was given to British Airways in the transport and leisure sector on 16th October 2020 at a total of £20,000,000 for a breach of the Data Protection Act (DPA). This is followed by a fine of £18,400,000, issued to Marriott International Inc on 30th October 2020, also for a breach of the DPA. 

The next largest was to Ticketmaster LTD, with a fine totalling £1,250,000 for data breaches on 13th November 2020. Then, DSG Retail Ltd, CRDNN Limited and Cathay Pacific all received fines totalling £500,000. 

Additionally, CRDNN was with a £500,000 fine on 2nd March 2021 for breaches of Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations (PECR).

The industry hit with the biggest fines was marketing with nine fines in total issued, followed by three fines issued to firms in the transport and leisure sector.

Additionally, the ICO issued three court orders for winding-up upon petitions in 2020. Trusted Futures Ltd received a penalty amount of £70,000, Superior Style Home Improvements received a penalty fee of £150,000 and Alistar Green Legal Services Ltd received a penalty fee of £90,000. All three organisations were given court orders in 2020.

Additionally, there were eight directors disqualified following ICO enforcement action in 2020. These directors have been disqualified for a number of years for conduct while acting for various companies.

Charlie Smith, Consultant Solutions Engineer, Barracuda Networks, said: “In today’s digital working environment, data security, recovery and protection is of vital importance. Unfortunately, it has become apparent that many business owners, workers and consumers are not aware of the need for backup and recovery services for their email service providers. Our own research even revealed that 40% of Office 365 users believe that Microsoft provides everything they need to protect their data and software.

“Whilst Office 365 does offer some level of security, even Microsoft suggests using a third party backup to ensure that data is fully protected and retrievable. Without it, organisations can be left prone to accidental data loss and even ransomware attacks. 

“Thus moving forward, organisations should invest in a third-party data backup solution that runs in the cloud, to enable seamless, efficient and comprehensive backup of data on a granular level – allowing lost, stolen or misplaced data to be restored without delay.”

2020 marketing predictions from SAS’ Wilson Raj

Digital Marketing Briefing sat down with Wilson Raj, Global Director of Customer Intelligence at SAS, to pick his brains on the future of marketing, encompassing privacy, the blockchain and AI – here are his five things to watch out for in 2020:

  1. Data privacy & personalisation become C-suite priorities

In 2020, marketers will raise the personalisation bar by raising the data privacy bar. Topics such as data governance, data security and data management will be escalated to C-suite and boardroom level discussions as the balance between customer privacy and personalisation becomes a strategic differentiator for all brands.

2. Blockchain & advertising  

In 2020, blockchain technology combined with AI will start to gain traction to help businesses combat digital advertising fraud and waste.

3. Identity management

Identity management will be a primary goal (and struggle) for marketers in 2020.  Marketers must be able to identify and track specific digital visitors across a range of channels, devices, platforms and environments as they journey around web, tablet, mobile apps, voice assistants, and AR/VR. 

To this end, hybrid-cloud architectures will gain momentum in 2020 to provide dynamic MarTech applications with dynamic customer data, as well as offer management, decisioning engines, analytics platforms and the channels themselves in both real-time and batch capacity. 

4. Increased automation with AI

In its annual CMO survey, Deloitte found that despite marketing analytics budgets increasing over the next 3 years, perceived contributions from analytics remain weak.

In 2020, companies must turn to AI-driven automation to help operationalise those analytics if they are to remain competitive. With the deluge of data and proliferation of customer contact opportunities, it is no longer humanly possible to make the thousands of decisions required per second to deliver great CX without automation in the mix.  

5. AI & dynamic pricing

AI already helps marketers with dynamic pricing as it relates to product availability, demand and forecasting. But it can go much further in 2020. AI could further integrate with a company’s resource planning systems and supply chain inputs to access cost optimisation, inventory, and economic forecasting data to achieve both dynamic pricing and fulfillment into campaigns and customer interactions.

INFOGRAPHIC: DMA reveals global consumer privacy trends

The Digital Marketing Association (DMA) has detailed consumer attitudes to privacy across 10 nations, encompassing attitudes, opinions and preferences and how they change depending on their location.

The research, conducted in partnership with Acxiom and Foresight Factory, found that:

  • 51% of people are ‘data pragmatists’ who exchange their data as long as there is a clear benefit.
  • 21% are ‘data unconcerned’ who do not mind how and why their data is used.
  • 23% are ‘data fundamentalists who never share their data for any reason.
  • The data pragmatists are most likely to be found in the US, Spain and Singapore, while data fundamentalists are found en mass in in Australia, Germany and The Netherlands.
  • Nearly half of all consumers would use their data to negotiate better offers.
  • 83% of consumers would like more control over their data.

The DMA concludes: “Although each nation differs in some ways, globally consumers are remarkably similar – most aspects of privacy remain the same wherever you are. Globally, the majority of consumers are pragmatists – willing to share their data so long as there is a benefit. Trading data is a common desire among consumers and data as a commodity will become more important to companies in the years to come.”

The DMA has produced a handy infographic to break down its findings and will be running a webinar on July 11th to delve deeper into the results.

Privacy concerns hindering Allo’s chance of messaging success?

Although reports have suggested that Google’s newly launched messaging service, Allo, is already causing some privacy concerns, the multinational technology company is defiant in ensuring users can safely navigate the app – despite its integration with Google’s new artificial intelligence (AI) assistant, which requires all messages to be sent without end-to-end encryption.

As a result, not only can Google’s Assistant access and read the messages, but Google as a whole can too; as well as national security organisations. With its developers announcing back in May that Allo would include revolutionary message retention policies unheard of among other messaging apps such as iMessage and WhatsApp, industry insiders have found that all messages are linked directly to an account and stored indefinitely – failing to keep its promise of ‘transiently’ storing chat logs and making sure all conversations are not permanently placed on Google’s servers.

A Google spokesperson said in a statement: “We’ve given users transparency and control over their data in Google Allo. And our approach is simple – your chat history is saved for you until you choose to delete it.”

“You can delete single messages or entire conversations in Allo. We also provide the option to chat in Incognito mode, where messages are end-to-end encrypted and you can set a timer to automatically delete messages for your device and the person you’re chatting with’s device at a set time.”