Today we have the pleasure to interview Paolo Cerroni, VP Legal at LoopMe, one of the companies that recently joined the EDAA Programme.
Paolo has agreed to answer some questions regarding LoopMe’s experience in the EDAA programme so far, as it has concluded its certification process in July 2022 and is now fully part of the EDAA family!
Welcome, Paolo! It is always a pleasure to hear from a representative of one of our participating companies.
What is the role of LoopMe in the digital advertising ecosystem?
LoopMe is a technology company that uses artificial intelligence (AI) to improve brand advertising performance and outcomes. Our vision is to change advertising for the better, by building technology that will redefine brand advertising. LoopMe powers programmatic advertising, improves media delivery, develops bespoke audience curation and effective real-time measurement through our outcomes platform. By putting consumers at the heart of every campaign, the world’s leading brands, agencies, media publishers and programmatic platforms rely on us to reach their goals effectively and more efficiently.
How did you learn about the EDAA Programme? And why have you decided to join?
LoopMe has always put privacy and compliance on the forefront of how we conduct our business. When I joined LoopMe in May 2021, one of my top priorities was to review the entirety of the company’s data protection and privacy practices globally, and ensure that as a business, we are always doing everything we can to ensure we meet, and where possible exceed, the standards of the applicable legislation and regulation.
In seeking to ensure LoopMe’s privacy programme and practices were robust and of the highest standard, we sought an external provider, capable of providing an extensive independent review of the entirety of LoopMe’s operations and processes. Following our research, we identified the EDAA and were impressed by the thoroughness of the EDAA’s review and audit required in order to secure the EDAA Trust Seal certification. In particular, we recognised the high compliance standards required to achieve the EDAA certification and membership, and the resultant prestige attached.
The EDAA Trust Seal certification and membership is a hugely respected independent seal of approval and serves as a strong signal to the AdTech Industry, demonstrating LoopMe’s commitment to brand integrity, consumer trust, data protection, and compliance with applicable legislation and industry standards.
Could you tell us a bit more about what a new company needs to do during the certification process?
LoopMe had some initial calls with the EDAA team to understand the certification process and membership requirements. The EDAA’s independent external auditors conducted an extensive review of the entirety of LoopMe’s data protection and privacy practices throughout Europe. The process included a data collection exercise where LoopMe received a questionnaire, which the LoopMe legal team answered fully, working with several internal business units such as our product, security and data teams. In addition, we provided the auditor with LoopMe’s suite of policy and contractual documents and templates, as they relate to data protection and privacy.
The auditor then reviewed LoopMe’s submissions and supporting documentation and there were a series of calls and email correspondence to discuss these and provide any further information required to ensure a full and clear understanding. They were very helpful in suggesting and recommending steps that could be taken to improve certain practices, processes and documentation, to ensure a robust compliance programme. LoopMe implemented those changes and we were delighted to receive the EDAA Trust Seal certification and become an EDAA member.
What do you think is the reason why companies and different actors in the ecosystem decide to come together and join this programme?
Consumer privacy and protection of user data is at the forefront of digital advertising, such that businesses in the AdTech sector place great importance on their data protection and privacy practices and their compliance with the applicable legislation and regulation. In particular, due to the close proximity in which the various actors in the AdTech ecosystem work together, combined with the instantaneous flow of data, close co-operation ensures a shared understanding of the legal and regulatory requirements, and a collaborative effort to meet those standards. Through working closely together on shared legal and regulatory objectives and requirements, businesses create a culture of compliance within the industry and hold each other to the highest standards.
The digital advertising ecosystem is going through a period of changes, due to new regulations, both in the European Union (with the Digital Services Act and the Regulation on transparency and targeting of Political Advertising) and also in the United Kingdom (with the Online Safety Bill). How do you think the industry can overcome these changes, and turn the challenges into opportunities?
Of course, it can be demanding, particularly in digital industries, to ensure compliance with the data protection and privacy legislative and regulatory landscape which is constantly changing, on a global, national and even state basis, as new laws and regulations come in to place all of the time. That said, with new challenges comes opportunity, and it’s important that companies take the opportunity to ensure they are maintaining the highest standards of practice when collecting, storing and processing user data. In particular, transparency with users is of the utmost importance, to ensure users know exactly how their data will be used and by who, what their rights are and how they can enforce them. Therefore, while new legislation and regulation can present a challenge, it nonetheless guides businesses on a path of compliance and provides them with the opportunity to be mindful in considering their practices, and do everything they can to maintain the highest standards to ensure the protection and careful use of user data.
How has your experience been so far with the EDAA Programme? Now that you have completed the process, what would you say to companies that are thinking about joining the Programme?
We found the EDAA Program thorough, well considered yet also user friendly and we also thoroughly enjoyed working with the EDAA team members. In particular, the team were very responsive and helpful with any queries we had. I would urge companies to work with the EDAA in seeking to secure the Trust Seal certification and EDAA membership.
Thank you so much, Paolo for your precious contribution and testimony!