Last week, Zeta Global appointed Ben Hayes to the position of Chief Privacy Officer. In his capacity as CPO, Hayes will oversee the protection of both Zeta’s sensitive data and that of the company’s clientele. “My experience working with massive consumer data sets and setting data policies for the world’s largest enterprises has equipped me to help Zeta elevate its data-driven solutions with data management and privacy as part of the embedded value,” said Hayes regarding his new role.
Though this may seem like a commonplace news story, digging past the surface reveals the larger implications for the marketing automation space and those invested therein. The long and short of it is that a Privacy Officer is a relatively rare thing to find in a vendor’s personnel lineup, but we’d contend that this shouldn’t be the case.
We live in the age of GDPR. Consumers are getting ever more data-savvy and breaches happen almost every day. Data makes the world go round and the parties that understand this reality are making moves to capitalize on it. Privacy needs to be a priority, especially in automation, where so much of your leads’ information is stored within the solution and/or on your vendor’s servers. Any compromise in data security has the potential for massive damage to both your customers and your organization’s image. Obviously, this is something you want to avoid, so making sure your vendor is up to snuff on their security protocols is paramount when it comes to software selection.
This brings us back to Ben Hayes at Zeta Global and how we should absolutely have more CPOs working with vendors. Someone whose job it is to ensure the protection of your customer’s data? It should be a no-brainer. Sadly, you can’t always have your cake and eat it too. Given how rare CPOs currently are in the industry, the best solution for your organization probably isn’t to employ one. Luckily, there are some alternative options out there for security-minded marketers.
The first step you can take to ensure your automated marketing is as secure as possible is to adhere to the strictest data security laws, like GDPR (even if you’re in America).
Of course, all vendors should be GDPR-compliant at this point, but you’ll want to double check. GDPR prohibits data storage without express consent from the subject. This means that you won’t have excesses of data just clogging server space, which in turn is less data to secure to start with. If that’s not a good enough reason for you consider the fact that it is also the law and you’ll avoid the massive fines for non-compliance.
You also want to own the data that you do use. This may seem like a strange statement to some of you, but for those who aren’t aware, data-renting is a practice that’s more widespread than you’d think. It’s exactly what it sounds like and as a secure as a wet cardboard box. Use your own data and you’re already leagues more secure than those renting.
The easiest thing to increase your marketing automation security? Follow Zeta Global’s lead and increase security overall. Hire a CPO of your own. A well-traveled professional will be able to assess the security shortcomings of solutions and course-correct accordingly. It’s an investment, but in today’s data-reliant marketing landscape, you need something to ensure your leads and customers are protected. A CPO is the most to-the-point way to achieve that goal.