Data ethics

This article is part of a series of articles on data ethics. Read more.

The APAC economy is increasingly digital and many of the best advertising and marketing opportunities lie in leveraging the advancing and increasingly convergent digital ecosystem. At the same time, the risk of complaints and regulatory investigations are higher now than they have ever been.

Need to know

  • There is a rising tide of data protection compliance in APAC that raises significant issues for marketers. New data privacy bills in the APAC region are borrowing heavily from the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which puts much greater emphasis on compliance
  • As marketers use increasingly sophisticated targeting technologies to reach consumers there are important moves in law and policy towards requiring specific consents for profiling purposes
  • There are concerted data protection pushes in the two most populous APAC markets – China and India – where there is a shift towards data subject consents. This may significantly impact digital marketing strategies, with a threat of localization thrown in for good measure
  • Expect greater scrutiny on areas that aim to personalize advertising content and direct more effective marketing to consumers, namely: transaction data, location and device data, and behavioural data
  • China's Personal Information Security Specification introduces advanced concepts of data subject rights. It proposes an "unbundling" of data protection consents which is of significant importance to marketers, as it bears directly on the ability to deploy consumer personal data for marketing purposes
  • The prospect for China going forward is that collection and processing of personal data by private organizations is increasingly regulated, potentially with a need to localize operating platforms in jurisdiction
  • Published in July 2018, India’s Personal Data Protection Bill is set for tabling in parliament in 2019 which suggests the standards of data protection in India is set to receive a significant boost. Key provisions appearing in the draft law would prohibit business from making the supply of goods or services conditional on the consumer's provision of personal data for non-essential purposes, such as marketing
  • At the same time, there is growing public anxiety in India about Aadhaar, a digital identity framework that aims to allocate each resident a unique identity number and link this identifier to fingerprint and iris scan biometric data. Marketers see great potential for leveraging Aadhaar for commercial gain, and India's navigation of these competing aims will be one of the most important data protection developments to watch
  • The best approach is to "future proof" consents and compliance policies so that, insofar as is practical, they anticipate technological innovation and changing business models.