Switched-on marketers and data planners in New Zealand should be looking closely at privacy protection trends internationally which threaten our ability to identify and communicate with prime prospects. Proposed legislation in countries like Australia and Canada is moving very much closer to the principles of the European Union’s GDPR regulations, which UK marketers have described as ‘draconian’ and almost impossible to comply with.

Canada’s new Consumer Privacy Protection Act proposes much tougher ‘consent’ requirements as well as a consumer ‘disposal right’. These moves mirror the GDPR with its ’right to be forgotten’. The Australian Government has also signalled its intent to introduce consumer’s ability to have control over their own data, including a right to be forgotten.

Both Canada and Australia are well down the track of introducing legislation which will threaten the use of algorithms and automated decision making. In Canada the new Artificial Intelligence and Data Act (AIDA) will seriously impact the efficiency and cost of automated marketing. And Australia is moving towards legislation which will increase the complexity and cost of tracking and profiling. Both countries seem to be following an international trend which will make the use of AI and automated decision-making more difficult.

In New Zealand we know that the Privacy Commissioner is on a path to ban the use of biometrics in any form of marketing, he is also concerned about the use of AI and in September issued an advisory document on the use of AI and its impact on privacy. You can access it here.

We should not forget that the European Union currently considers our privacy laws as “adequate” and this enables us to freely conduct business with Europe. Who knows how long this adequacy rating will survive?

My message to you is that lawmakers in New Zealand are often influenced by overseas trends. Privacy laws all over the world are clearly moving towards GDPR principles and we should expect tighter regulation in NZ.

The use of modern technology like AI and Biometrics is of particular concern to Governments so when you and your colleagues try to map out a 5 year marketing strategy think hard about what limitations may be imposed upon you and how you can positively react and build them into your plans.

Source: Keith Norris, 18 October 2023.