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Why German publishers aren’t worried about the GDPR

Germans are privacy fiends, but when it comes to the highly anticipated General Data Protection Regulation, they're treating it as business as usual.

The reasons for this vary, including cultural differences and the country's attitude toward different business threats like the ePrivacy Regulation. Germany's stance on data privacy is singular in Europe due to its time under Stasi rule. Consequently, data transparency in media and advertising is highly valued and incorporated earlier into business practices than in other countries.

For German marketers, transparency in data use is the top concern, with 66 percent of marketers citing this as the area in which they expect transparency from ad tech vendors, according to a recent report from independent media-buying platform Iotec, which polled 250 senior marketers. By contrast, the top focuses for U.K. marketers are ad fraud and transparency on ad tech vendor pricing, according to a corresponding Iotec report that polled 500 U.K. senior marketers.

"There's an air of calmness and pragmatism in Germany compared to elsewhere," said Paul Wright, CEO of Iotec. "They're used to this approach.". Preparing for the GDPR hasn't been easy in Germany, though.

But transitioning to being GDPR-compliant has been less of a jolt for media and advertising companies there than it has in the U.K., for example. While the majority of the U.K. market is awaiting final direction on how to obtain consent and share data from the Information Commissioner's Office, German publishers are conducting business as if the law is already being enforced.

Some U.K. data specialists at publishers have already pointed out that waiting on the ICO's final guidance is naive — there are plenty of other ways to prepare, given the fundamentals of the regulation are set.

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