Does Location Intelligence Have a Future in Europe?

From a marketer perspective one of the most exciting developments of the past few years has been the rise of “location intelligence.” In other words, accessing mobile user data to identify real-world audience behavior patterns, track media influence on offline purchases, benchmark competitive “share of visits” and numerous other use cases.

However, with the passage of Europe’s new GDPR privacy rules — and the promise of more to come — we need to ask: which of these mobile-location use cases will survive and how do location-data methodologies need to adapt or change in the new environment?

At Place Conference London on June 15 (hosted at Facebook’s offices) we have three dedicated sessions exploring and answering these questions:

  • Radical Transparency: Unlocking the Black Box of Location
    Kjartan Slette, COO, Unacast
  • Privacy & Proximity: What’s Required, What’s Permitted?
    Jon Chase, Chairman Media Agencies Council, EACA
  • Designing for Trust, Transparency and Control
    Elaine Montgomery, Product Design Manager, Facebook

Each session takes a somewhat different approach to privacy, transparency and trust. They’re all directed toward finding a way forward in a new, more sensitive privacy environment.

There are some, including Unacast, that have argued, in the wake of GDPR, that the location-data market in Europe will be stronger for two reasons:

  • It will be consent-based
  • Low-quality data providers will be forced to improve practices or shutter their operations

Not wanting to deal with compliance or face the potential consequences of non-compliance — up to 20 million euros or 4% of global revenues, whichever is greater — some US based companies have either abandoned Europe, not entered the market or are taking a wait and see approach.

But the belief that the US market is “safe” and that comparable privacy regulation won’t make it to this country seems increasingly untenable. Europe effectively offers a preview of what may be coming to the US market.

A referendum called the California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018 will almost certainly make it on the November ballot. It brings disclosure and consent requirements that are not unlike GDPR and is opposed by various industry groups (LSA has not taken a position on the law). Other jurisdictions are also considering new consumer privacy rules in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica data scandal.

Understanding the market dynamics, tactics and best practices in Europe will be helpful in previewing what the US may soon be facing. But if you can’t make it to London on June 15, we’ll have a more condensed discussion of privacy at Place Conference New York in September (9/13). London offers a deeper dive and tactical advice on the way forward.

And if you’re going to Cannes Lions, stop over in London on June 15 and spend a day of total immersion in location intelligence. Mobile is the future of digital media and location is the center of mobile.

Place London

In addition to the privacy and trust discussions above, we’ll have a range of other dynamic sessions:

  • Location & the Illusion of Universal Availability
  • The Many Uses of Location Intelligence
  • Digital Transformation of a Global Energy Brand
  • Audience Targeting, Footfall & Offline Attribution
  • Google presentation
  • Facebook: Online-to-Offline Solutions
  • Location as a Tool to Reach High-Value Customers
  • Smartphone Searches to In-Stores Sales
  • Using Light for Indoor Location, Analytics and Product Search
  • How Mixed Reality & AI Will Change Digital Experiences
  • Getting to Scale: Crowdsourcing Indoor Location
  • Connected Cars: The Road Ahead

Check out the full agenda here.

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