Data And Insights For Your Marketing Strategy | Next Level Online Marketing

Changes to Data Collection Laws

There has been a lot of talk around new data collection laws and many statements have been made from the ACCC here in Australia and privately owned data giants like Google, Facebook and Apple. Data ownership and data collection greatly influences the way we work as marketers. We collect information from customers through cookies, device ID’s or data management platforms (DMP). We need this information to market the products and services we have on offer. New laws around data collection will change the way we operate in the future. However, it is important to understand that these new laws will take a while to come into effect and there is a lot we can do before the changes are implemented.


Firstly it is important to understand why this is all happening. A survey conducted by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) asked the question “do you normally read all the privacy policy or terms and conditions for an internet site or app?”.

At least half of the participants in each age demographic reported that they either never read the privacy policy or terms and conditions or that they rarely do. The ACCC believes that transparency over the collection is important however, transparency is not enough.

“Consumers, once they understand what is being collected and how it is used, must be able to exercise real choice and meaningful control,” the ACCC wrote.

It is clear that current data collection takes advantage of our privacy.  This is why new laws are coming into power to regulate this.


The ACCC’s announcement that internet giants will now have to negotiate with media companies to pay for their news content caused Google to respond with an open letter. This was described as “very aggressive” by Rob Nicholls, an associate professor in business law at the University of NSW. In this letter Google made bold statements saying these new laws will “hurt” search results and cause them to become “dramatically worse”. They also claimed that this “would put the free services you use at risk in Australia”. It is important to note this reaction was influenced by the fact that Google makes a great amount of revenue out of data. Last year Google made $4 billion revenue in Australia.

At Next Level we studied these claims,  Andrew Wong, Chief Data Technology Officer with over 15 years experience in data and advertising technology systems believes:  

“The key message of this open letter is that due to these new laws around data collection, Google is most likely going to lose revenue and their ability to sell consumer behaviour data. Google considers this a bad thing however at Next Level we see this as a power shift between data giants like Google and Facebook and their competitors (media companies).
For brands this means that if behaviour data is available to all media publishers, they may have the ability to improve their advertising products. This will increase the competition in advertising markets and potentially drive down media cost.
It is important to understand that google free services (Search and YouTube) and their paid advertising services will not be affected by this. Data passed between Google and other parties is never lost.
Furthermore, this letter highlights the value of customer behaviour data. Google monetises data and wants to protect their revenue source.

Therefore, it is imperative for brands to collect and build their own consumer behaviour data capabilities. It is important to have a thorough understanding of your customers to promote effective media campaigns across multiple platforms and media suppliers.”

Ultimately, it is important to remember that Google’s stance on this situation is subjective.


Further shake ups have occurred in the data collection market. With Apple announcing that with their new IOS update they will limit apps access to users ‘Unique Identifier For Advertisers’ (IDFA). Currently apps have been able to easily collect user data for advertising purposes. From IOS 14 and onward advertisers must ask specific permission via pop up message to track data across apps. Former US regulator, who created California’s landmark 2018 digital privacy law, Ashkan Soltani justifies this move “Consumers] are consenting to playing a game of Angry Birds or to use a flashlight app… not to the myriad of third parties, some of whom neither users nor app developers are aware of”.

This reasoning is understandable in a consumer sense but what does it mean for us marketers?

Jorge Linares, is NLOM’s Head of Programmatic & Data Platform specialises in DSP and Data Management Platforms (DMP). He explains how this can affect our current data tracking systems.

“We are expecting to slightly shift the way we operate due to these changes. However, this is only the beginning.  Our DMP will not be affected by this new update, as this affects the collection of first-party data. As we are working in a 100% web environment, all our tags are pasted on the brand web page. So we should be ok in the short term.

This new IOS update will essentially give customers the ability to understand the kind of tracking that apps are conducting on our phones. It is possible that some people will accept their data being tracked for access to certain apps.”

However, he warns that we should be more concerned with the new Safari updates that will be available in the next few months.

“With the new version of Safari customers will be alerted that a page is tracking them, and it will give them the ability to block the trackers. This will cause us to lose uniques from Safari. It is possible that due to the reduction in uniques we will face a reduction in third party data behaviours that we use in DMP.

However, there will still be enough information to make decisions, create audiences and keep DMP working.”

Our Advice:

Under the new privacy laws, those consumers who explicitly accept to be tracked, are those who want an information relationship with your brand. Your audience’s data, on and off site behaviour and CRM data tells you a lot about your customers interests, intentions and buying behaviour. We firmly believe that to be successful brands must tailor their strategy and orchestrate their campaigns based on the understanding of their audience’s behavioural data.

Whilst the platform giants continue to tassel for control and monetisation of consumer data, we believe brands can act now, and deliver superior return on marketing budget. Enlisting data driven marketing partners, such as Next Level, and using marketing data technology such as DMP, will be key elements of this. 

Don’t panic, but act now to ensure you can stay on top of the changing climate. 

For more information or if you have any questions please contact us!


Google’s Open letter to Australians

Google’s Misinformation About New Rules

iPhone App Industry Upside Down

Australian privacy law – data collection and use by digital platforms