The Advertising Research Foundation (ARF) is likely weeks away from the presentation of a new Code of Conduct that will guide marketers, researchers, and third parties such as agencies and publishers in the proper, ethical use of data.

“There’s a lot of personal data, far more than there was two years ago,” Scott McDonald, the ARF’s president/CEO, told a seminar audience at Advertising Week New York 2018.


Scott McDonald, president/CEO, the ARF

That volume of material, together with well-publicized breaches and data-security scandals, have fueled what McDonald called “a backlash” against long-established marketing-research practices – initiatives that were supported by far less granular sources of consumer information.

Current data practices, the ARF chief continued, are generating “rising anxiety,” as evidenced by hearings at the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the European Union’s GDPR rules, the California Consumer Privacy Act, and active consideration of new privacy-focused legislation in Colorado, New Jersey, Vermont, and Washington.