WPP and Optimizely, one of the market leaders in digital experience platforms (DXPs), have formed a strategic worldwide relationship. The alliance will aim at assisting clients in offering customers enhanced digital experiences. This groundbreaking collaboration will serve as WPP’s principal digital experimentation focus and Optimizely’s first global strategic undertaking.
Informed digital experience-focused deal
WPP and Optimizely have collaborated for 17 years through businesses like ACCO businesses, Aegon, Oister, etc. These days, customer standards are higher than ever. With this partnership, Optimizely will enable digital innovation and potential for WPP’s enterprise clients. As a platinum partner of Optimizely, WPP is privy to the latter’s DXP toolkit. These tools include experimentation, commerce, content management, and marketing. By utilizing these technologies, businesses will be able to leverage data to continually improve their digital experiences to increase engagement, conversions, and ROI.
As Google launches Google Optimize, its web and analytics product later this year, the strategic collaboration will also extend to enable partners to seamlessly connect Optimizely’s Web Experimentation and Google Analytics (GA4). WPP and Optimizely have agreed to work together to ensure a smooth transition to a new experimental network that will help brands deliver pertinent features and content.
Here’s what they said
Stephan Pretorius, chief technology officer at WPP stated in the announcement,
“Powerful creativity and effective media strategy can be wasted if brands do not also prioritise conversion. Optimizely’s platform provides data that allows brands to maximise the chance of driving customers through the ideal journey across channels, and we’re excited to develop a joint offering to take to our shared clients.”
Alex Atzberger, CEO of Optimizely remarked,
“The world’s leading companies must have world-leading digital experiences, which can only be achieved through a test and learn approach. Together, WPP and Optimizely will ensure customers get the most out of their experimentation programmes so they can turn insights into increased conversions. We are thrilled to kick off this partnership.”
The goal of Optimizely is to assist people in realizing their full digital potential. They achieve this by reimagining the way that product and marketing teams collaborate to design and enhance digital experiences across multi-channels. They assist businesses all over the world in orchestrating their whole content lifecycle, monetizing each digital experience, and conducting experiments across every customer interaction with the aid of their industry-leading digital experience platforms (DXP). In its 21 international offices, Optimizely employs nearly 1500 people and has more than 700 partners. More than 10,000 companies, including H&M, PayPal, Zoom, Toyota, and Vodafone, benefit from their assistance to improve client lifetime value, boost sales, and develop their brands.
The French Data Protection Authority (CNIL) ordered three French websites to stop using the analytical audience site Google Analytics deemed to violate the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). The decision came to light, weeks after a similar groundbreaking decision by the Austrian Data Protection Authority. The websites have 30 days to comply or risk hefty fines up to €20 million, or 4% of the annual turnover.
Google Analytics allows you to track how many people go to your website by integrating it. For each visitor, a unique identifier is assigned. Google transfers this identifier (which is personal data) and the corresponding data to the United States.
CNIL received several complaints from NOYB about the transfer of data collected from their site visitors via Google Analytics to the United States. Max Schrems, chair of the European Center for Digital Rights (NOYB), sent these complaints to several data protection authorities (DPAs), including the Austrian and French DPAs, in 2020.
It’s no secret that many websites use Google Analytics to learn more about their audiences. With privacy laws tightening, especially across Europe, and the GDPR still being sorted out, there will be an increase in services flouting GDPR. A concern in a global economy is the potential for separate products for the EU and the U.S.
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Insufficient Measures under Schrems II
In the course of its evaluation, the CNIL reviewed the consequences of the Schrems II decision of the Court of Justice of the European Union on 16 July 2020, which rendered the Privacy Shield invalid. According to the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU), the personal information transferred to the United States could be accessed by American intelligence services if the transfers are not properly regulated.
DPA’s have concluded that transfers to the United States are currently not adequately regulated. As a matter of fact, it says that in the absence of an adequate decision, the transfer of data cannot take place without securing appropriate guarantees for this flow specifically.
However, soon it was found that this was not the case. In fact, Google has adopted additional measures to regulate data transfers when it comes to the Google Analytics functionality, but they are not sufficient to ensure data confidentiality. Therefore, French website users are exposed to risk if they use this service and their data is exported.
As a result, the first decision was issued by the Austrian DPA earlier in January, followed by the decision by CNIL in early February.
Is Europe banning Google Analytics?
The CNIL notes that as a result, the data of Internet users is transferred to the USA in violation of Article 44 GDPR. Therefore, the CNIL ordered the website manager to bring this processing in line with GDPR, so that either Google Analytics will not be used (under current conditions) or a new tool will be used that does not involve a transfer outside the EU.
The CNIL recommends that website measurement and analysis tools should only be used to produce anonymous statistics, thus absolving the controller of any consent requirements if the transfer is legal. It has launched an evaluation program to determine which solutions are exempt from consent. The French data protection authority has also issued other orders to website operators using Google Analytics. Max Schrems said,
“In the long run we either need proper protections in the US, or we will end up with separate products for the US and the EU. I would personally prefer better protections in the US, but this is up to the US legislator – not to anyone in Europe.”
The CNIL is widely regarded as Europe’s regulatory powerhouse. The Dutch regulator has already stated that it will follow in the footsteps of the CNIL. DPAs in Germany, Spain, Portugal, and Poland are expected to make similar decisions in the coming months, cracking down on illegal personal data transfer between the US and the EU.
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