“Right now the trust relationship is eroding,” Rik van der Kooi, corporate VP of Microsoft's Advertiser and Publisher Solutions Group, said in a session titled “Online Data: Sorting Out the Land Grab.”
“We operate by the digital equivalent of don't ask, don't tell. Publishers don't ask what happens to the data. ... Advertisers only leverage the output of that data. Consumers are oblivious to what's going on. That is an untenable situation.”
What's needed, van der Kooi said, is a rebuilding of trust through education and greater transparency.
“Clearly we need to strengthen the dialogue with regulators and consumers,” he said. “It's important that we have that dialogue before we have decisions made for us.”
Not only will this effort to get closer to consumers help stave off regulation, it's good for business, van der Kooi said. “We are "underachieving' the enormous potential that we could have if we had a more complete data profile,” he said.