The research also explores ways to enhance data best practices in the era of Web 3.0.
The amount and types of data economies generate have grown exponentially over the last decade, and so have the ways this data can be processed and used. This transformation has greatly raised societal concerns around the protection of consumers' and users’ privacy and personal data.
The ABG research committee has teamed up with Ipsos in the UAE to research the levels of understanding, acceptance, and readiness for such a big change to the advertising industry – focusing on market experts and consumers.
The findings highlighted five key elements that stakeholders believe can help form the solution in the future:
Publishers will require support in developing and storing their first-party data, and all members will need more understanding of how cohorts work, privacy solutions to reduce data breaches, and global best practices around data governance while bridging the gap between advertising on Web 2.0 and 3.0.
According to the regional findings, around half of the people have a sense of comfort and trust in sharing their personal data and information online.
The information people are willing to share away is the same on the Internet as when they visit physical stores - mainly credentials relating to their e-mail, first name, and last name. Only a very low fraction of the people are willing to give away their biometrics or financial information, indicating that people are still being apprehensive about sharing certain types of personal information.
Generally, Saudis seem to be more informed about their data privacy rights than UAE residents, and are more familiar (39%) with the 2018 GDPR laws implemented by the EU than in UAE (27%).
However, 50% of Internet users among UAE residents and local Saudis have good knowledge of that topic, as they claim to be well aware of where their personal data and information are collected and stored.
Around 6 out of 10 (60%) UAE and Saudi residents are aware of some of the tools and features that they can utilize in order to have control over their personal data and information, and 68% would feel more in control of their data if brands allowed them to manage and access it.
Overall, around 75% of people in the region have high trust in the country they currently reside in to protect their data, showing high levels of trust in their governments to safeguard their data; more than half of Internet users are confident sharing their personal information with governmental websites and major platforms such as Google, Amazon, and YouTube.
Although there is a high sense of trust and security felt within the region when it comes to consumers’ data privacy, the majority (7 out of 10) of the public believe that sharing information and data should be restricted to trusted websites and brands, and not for every platform or store.
An Ipsos spokesperson said in a statement, “Although the elimination of third-party cookies could be perceived as a direct threat to a brand’s marketing strategies, we believe this will encourage businesses to reconsider how they interact with their audiences and spur a new wave of marketing creativity.”
Leyal Eskin Yilmaz, ABG Chair & Unilever Vice President - Head of Personal Care Business Arabia, said the report was “thorough” combining GCC consumer and expert views. “The responsible management of consumer data is imperative if brands and organizations want to gain their consumers’ trust,” she said. “The recommendations encapsulated in this report are a must for companies that want to be data-driven and future-proof their operations.”
Tarek Elnagdy, CMI Director PC MET and Arabia CMI Market Lead at Unilever, said the report is an “eye-opener” on the level of engagement and understanding which consumers have towards data privacy in the GCC. “The report is fortified with expert views and recommendations for the inspiration of every marketeer,” he said.
Amine Al-Adem Head of Insights, Mindshare MENA, said with every change comes new opportunities. “Perhaps it’s time to go back to the fundamentals of Brand Building,” he said.
Read the full report here.