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WAN-IFRA publishes new data privacy report

A new report from the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (WAN-IFRA) examines the issue of data privacy and how news media companies can take ownership of diligent data privacy policies and practices.

"Data Privacy: An issue for our time," presents best-practice recommendations from data privacy experts and publishers around the world, results of consumer and publisher surveys, and recent trends and regulations, says WAN-IFRA.

Researched and reported in cooperation with TRUSTe, a leading global data privacy management company, the report is available free to WAN-IFRA members and for sale to non-members. Full details can be found here.

"Consumers are becoming more aware of the data they share about themselves by the day," says Cecilia Campbell, Executive Programmes Editor & Communicator at WAN-IFRA, who co-authored the report with Kris Vann, Senior Product Marketing Manager for TRUSTe. "Trusted news brands can only gain from engaging with their customers around data collection and data privacy, involving them and educating them about what they get in return.

"Data privacy may not be something most news publishers today consider core to their business, but at the rate the digital world is moving they need to," she said. "While interviewing publishers for the report I was at once fascinated by how relatively little awareness there is of privacy issues in the industry in general, while at the same time the most proactive publishers are turning data protection into a competitive advantage."

A recent survey shows that 90 per cent of consumers in the United States and the United Kingdom avoid companies they don't believe protect their data privacy.

The WAN-IFRA report says that publishers who allow advertisements to be served from anywhere other than their own ad servers -- the vast majority -- need to organize themselves to protect and leverage user data. It recommends that publishers only work with trusted partners, set clear rules on what is permissible, and be creative about how to monetize their own first-party data.

Essentials of a good privacy policy, according to the report, are: be clear and transparent with users; keep track of processes; keep track of third parties. The report also recommends appointing a data privacy lead staff member and data protection "champions" across the organization, and to establish privacy awareness among all staff.