They Do Data! Our 2 Cents on The Wall Street Journal’s Amended Privacy Policy

Yesterday, the Wall Street Journal announced a change to its privacy policy. As the publisher of a groundbreaking series on online privacy and digital tracking, this move by the Wall Street Journal is already generating a fair amount of criticism and buzz around the net.

From the WSJ’s blog post, it appears that this effort is driven in part by a need to standardize its policies across its network of owned sites. But it’s certainly also an acknowledgement of the value of visitor data and the importance of audience monetization to publisher business models.

We think this is positive news for the Wall Street Journal, and indicative of a larger shift of more and more media companies leveraging data to drive premium digital marketing initiatives. The bottom line is that to be competitive with mega-audience engines like Google and Facebook, publishers have to play the targeting game as well, if not better.

Some other conclusions can be drawn from this move:

Transparency is key.

The WSJ not only changed its policy, but announced the change separately and included its reasons for doing so in the announcement. Smart move that was handled well.

Policies must be clear to the layperson.

Some of the Journal’s critics have rightfully pointed out that some of the language both in the policy and by the Journal’s spokeswoman are not easy for the layperson to decipher.

Publisher data sharing with user opt out is the norm.

The industry has consolidated around the opt out model and more and more publishers see the value in using audience data to deliver relevant content and advertising.

 

What’s your take on the Wall Street Journal’s shift? Leave us a comment…

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