The DMA is calling on the Information Commissioner’s Office to provide urgent guidance on how third-party data will be affected by GDPR, amid growing concerns that the industry could be caught in the cross-fire from the ongoing Cambridge Analytica data scandal.
Just hours after Acxiom revealed it faces a $25m (£18m) revenue loss from the demise of the Facebook’s Marketing Partners Programme, the DMA claims many marketers have been left wondering whether the use of third-party data will be permitted at all.
In a blog post, the industry body cites the tone of the ICO’s recent comments over Facebook’s use of bought-in data, which the regulator described as “a significant area of concern”.
The ICO has confirmed to the DMA that the announcement was about the need for greater transparency around the use of third-party data, rather than a total ban.
However, the DMA says the ICO has published “very little guidance for marketers as to how they can buy, share and use third-party data under GDPR” and insists it is crucial that the regulator “addresses the concerns of the industry”.
It added: “Without third-party data, organisations would find it harder to personalise their marketing messages and keep their databases accurate and up-to-date.”
The move follows reports that major UK data companies could be summoned to appear in front of MPs as the Culture, Media & Sport Select Committee widens its inquiry into fake news.
Committee chair Damian Collins has claimed there is “a lack of scrutiny on who’s holding our data and where it ends up” and has called for the ICO to have the power to search data companies and seize their files without a court warrant. The committee has not said which companies it may call to account.
Collins added: “It’s part of the question of whether data gathered for commercial or research purposes has been used to spread hyper-partisan messages in political campaigns.”
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