LiveRamp just acquired a startup to help marketers get ready for the looming headache of privacy regulation
- Ad-tech firm LiveRamp has acquired Faktor, a small Dutch tech firm whose consent-management software is used by European publishers and brands to collect data.
- LiveRamp plans to use the acquisition to help marketers prepare for regulation like the forthcoming California Consumer Privacy Act that will change how marketers collect and store data.
- LiveRamp's president and head of products and platforms, Anneka Gupta, said LiveRamp's goal is to make it easier for marketers to collect consumers' consent and use their data.
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With privacy regulations like the California Consumer Privacy Act coming in the US, LiveRamp acquired Dutch tech firm Faktor to help marketers manage their web and mobile data.
LiveRamp helps advertisers target and measure ads by matching offline data like CRM and loyalty cards with digital stats. It spun off Acxiom to agency holding company Interpublic Group for $2.3 billion last year.
Anneka Gupta, LiveRamp's president and head of products and platforms, said LiveRamp started looking for potential acquisitions a year ago when the European Union's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) rolled out. The privacy law regulates how companies collect and use data.
Now, marketers are facing similar rules in the US like the CCPA governing data collection that takes effect next year and proposed bills in Washington state, New Jersey, Hawaii and Maryland.
"When we talk to our customers and partners, we find that they're having much greater difficulty navigating the complexity of the regulation that's coming up," Gupta said. "The reality is that companies rely very heavily on data-driven marketing and recognize that they need to leverage customer data to deliver great experiences if they're going to stay competitive."
Faktor gives marketers a way to store the consent-management forms that they have to use on their websites and apps to collect consumer data. Faktor also powers a page listing all the vendors that a given company works with if their visitors want more information.
Faktor's 11-person team will join LiveRamp and its technology will be baked into LiveRamp's products. LiveRamp did not disclose the price of the deal.
One goal of Faktor is to merge all of clients' data. Today, those with a website and app have to get two separate consents from consumers to share their data, one for each platform. The goal is to allow a company to only collect data once, regardless of the platform that a consumer uses.
"If you have multiple properties under the same company, you don't want to be asking people to manage consent in 50 different places," Gupta said.
It's unclear how much new regulations will resemble GDPR
It's unclear how GDPR and CCPA will differ in how they treat individual data compared to household data, and bills that have been proposed in the US vary from state to state. Gupta said the ad-tech firm hopes that a national bill will emerge so there's only one standard. LiveRamp hopes to roll out CCPA-specific compliancy tools by September, but expects that marketers will wait until November or December to prepare.
"What we saw with GDPR is that a lot of brands and publishers waited until the last month before it went into effect to start figuring out what they needed to do, and I think we'll see something similar with CCPA, too," she said. "There isn't a lot of desire to move until there's more clarity closer to the date of implementation."
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