Online advertising is an $83 billion market – meaning that digital marketing is imperative. Recently, Congress made a decision that is bound to disrupt the internet marketing world. Congress voted to put the brakes on Internet privacy rules set in place by the Obama Administration. The online privacy protections that were set into motion in October 2016 are regarded as revolutionary legislation. And now, the Trump Administration is being given the option to retract these protections. This event presents marketers with a tremendous opportunity, but should they capitalize on it? The doors are opening for marketers (but, really, they are remaining open) to build upon their treasure trove of consumer data.
In actuality, the legislation protecting Internet privacy had not yet gone into effect. The sudden uproar is spurred by the potential for FCC Internet privacy rollback. Cable firms and wireless providers can potentially exploit your browsing history, shopping habits, your location and other information harvested from your online activity. With all of this information on a specific person, internet service providers (ISPs) can sell highly targeted ads for a hefty price. ISPs could compete with Google and Facebook in the $83 billion online advertising market. Inherently, ISPs have very detailed information on consumers and a better understanding of who is using what device in the home. Fewer privacy restrictions mean internet service providers can look more closely at behavior that marketers eagerly want details on, like mobile behavior and app usage.
Is there a good side to privacy protections being put on the chopping block? ISPs could leverage privacy and use it as a selling point. It’s a given that consumers would be concerned about their data leaking. Data leakage could be a threat to a brand’s image and consumer loyalty. Therefore, offering heightened security could become an attractive feature for companies to advertise. FCC’s broadband privacy protections would have prevented Internet service providers from selling personal data like web browsing history without prior consent. However, the rule had not yet gone into effect. It can be argued that nothing has, or will, change. Sales of personal data is a much-feared but highly unlikely scenario.