Here’s how it works
Broken down into five primary stages, the Data Ethics Compass first asks users for a wealth of contextual information, including their organization’s name, their location, their office’s location, the location of the consumers they intend to target, and more.
The reason for this in-depth background is because “when people are flying through these tools, we don’t want any ambiguity,” explains Olivieri, who is also GroupM’s global senior VP for data strategy and partnerships.
Users can then choose their business sector; retailers, charities, gambling corporations, political parties, TV broadcasters and a host of others are represented. “We start with the client sector to contextualize, because different client sectors have different relationships with end consumers,” Olivieri says, giving the example of a travel company having more information about a consumer—and using it differently—than a health care provider.
Step three involves identifying the source of a user’s input data; is it first-party or third-party? Choose one, and then specify further with a drop-down menu of choices. After clicking on third-party data in this step, for example, clients may pick from source options such as audience data, social platform data and panel or survey data.
After narrowing the input about how the information was collected, users can select a “data type category”—age, marital status, criminal history, sexual orientation are all in play—to reveal what a specific factor says about a consumer. Again, this may prompt a drop-down menu; if you select location, you can then add the type of data it has been gathered from: GPS coordinates, ZIP codes, IP addresses and so on.
In future versions of the tool, clients will be able to pick multiple options if needed to specify intersectionality, Olivieri says, but in the initial roll-out, only one data type category per analyzed decision is supported.
Then, users are brought to the fifth and final step, where they can pick how their data will be used. Are you aiming to work on customer behavioral targeting, or is gaining demographic insights your objective?
After diligently following those steps, users will receive an ethicality rating for their decision on a dial scale. An arrow in the green means WPP, in accordance with its own moral perspective, sees little to no ethical risk; yellow indicates an “acceptable” level of risk; orange means more information is required; and red raises the alarm, prompting users to rethink their high-risk scenario.