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The IAB meeting had as its theme “The People vs. Data.” In a session titled “Online Data: Sorting Out the Land Grab,” Rik van der Kooi, corporate VP of Microsoft's Advertiser and Publisher Solutions Group, said the trust between online publishers and website visitors is eroding. “We operate by the digital equivalent of "don't ask, don't tell,' ” van der Kooi said. “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, he 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.” Van der Kooi concluded by saying, “I don't think we need to go to this different way of data management because we have to, although I believe that regulatory scrutiny and consumer advocacy will push us in that direction. But I believe that we should go there because there is an opportunity. There is an opportunity for us to prosper, to create more trust—a deeper connection with our consumers—and that will ultimately lead to more value creation for us and the industry as a whole.”
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