The Battle for ATTENTION: Will AI Save The Advertising Industry in a Privacy-Driven Economy?

Understanding the American Privacy Rights Act (APRA): SCUBA Breaks It Down

By SCUBA Insights

By now, you may have heard of the American Privacy Rights Act, a bill sweeping through the halls of Congress. But what is it, and why does it matter to the advertising industry?

APRA: A Brief Background

Introduction of the Bill

On April 7th, Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.), Chair of the US House Committee on Energy and Commerce, and Senator Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.), Chair of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Education, introduced a draft of the bipartisan bill.

Hearings and Current Status

Hearings began on April 17th, and it is still in discussion. At the time of publication, APRA is not yet a law.

TL;DR on the Bill: So what is it, anyways?

Key Provisions

The APRA functions in three key ways:

  • Serves as a federal comprehensive data privacy law, preempting most state laws, with a few notable exceptions, including for civil rights and consumer protection.
  • Grants privacy rights and protections to all Americans, not just those living in key states, participating in certain industries, or belonging to certain groups.
  • Establishes a three-tier enforcement system through the FTC, state attorney generals, and individual citizens a.k.a. private right of action.

Implications for Advertising

If enacted, APRA would represent the first set of unified, federal, standards for consumer and data privacy in the United States, superseding state laws like CCPA, with a few exceptions for civil rights and consumer protection.

The draft notably excludes small businesses from its scope. Instead, it focuses primarily upon what it defines as, “large data holders” which it classifies as those with $250MM+ in annual revenue and/or collecting data on 5MM+ users, applying additional measures for their compliance.

Potential Impacts on Advertising

Reduced Data Collection

As the current draft is written, the APRA would significantly scale down the amount of data that organizations collect on users.

User Control

It would grant users the ability to manage, correct, and even export their own data. They would also maintain the right to opt out of targeted advertising, and transfer of their data.

Potential Benefits of a National Framework

In theory, a national framework could make compliance and standardization easier and more cost-effective to achieve than the current patchwork of state and international laws.

Summary and Conclusions: APRA In Review

Overall, APRA has the potential to reshape the marketing landscape by prioritizing data privacy and placing stricter regulations on data collection and usage. Although it has not yet become law, APRA underscores a significant legislative trend, shifting favorability away from big tech and towards consumers, especially regarding data privacy and protection. 

Importantly, this has large implications for how the advertising industry operates, both on the sell and buy-side, both of which rely on data to craft personalized experiences, unlock growth, and drive the bottom line.

Favorability towards consumer and data privacy is shifting. To stay relevant, and succeed, in a privacy-first world, marketers, data providers, and media owners will need to navigate upcoming changes carefully to ensure compliance while continuing to effectively reach their intended audiences.

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