Critical lessons from Advocate Aurora Health’s $12M settlement

Companies struggling with consent

In today's digitally-driven world, data reigns supreme. Companies rely on tracking technologies like pixels and Software Development Kits (SDKs) to collect invaluable data that fuels their marketing strategies, user experiences, and decision-making processes. 

But amidst the treasure trove of data lies a complex challenge: ensuring robust data governance and compliance with relevant laws. Recent headlines are littered with examples of companies struggling to meet compliance requirements.

  • Advocate Aurora Health, a prominent healthcare provider, agreed to a $12.25 million settlement in response to allegations their use of web tracking technology violated health privacy laws.

  • Federal authorities publicly named 130 healthcare firms allegedly using web tracking technologies to collect data without consent.

  • A recent Bloomberg report detailed the growing wave of consumer privacy lawsuits alleging the Meta pixel sent information about users viewing habits to Facebook without consent.

Taken together, it’s clear that tracking technology compliance is having a moment—but the bigger story lies behind the headlines. 

Tracking technology management is a sticky issue for most, and enterprise compliance leaders in particular need better tools to make sure their organizations respect consumers data rights and steer clear of avoidable enforcement actions. Beyond better compliance, the benefits of better tracking technology management include reduced operational costs, better data governance, and increased consumer trust. 

Understanding the tracking technology challenge

When considering the headlines, it’s easy to wonder why some companies are on their backfoot with tracking technology governance?

One factor is that some enterprise organizations haven’t yet made a move to real-time tracking compliance—continuing to rely on out-dated solutions that ineffectively manage the proliferation of tracking tools and data collection methods. Common elements of outdated consent compliance initiatives include: 

  • Incomplete coverage: While many legacy solutions only handle cookie management, there are actually 200+ tracking technologies in business ecosystems today—and all must be in compliance! From SDKs to Pixels to LSOs, data consent laws generally apply to all types of tracking technologies, so this is one of the first issues companies must address.

  • Lack of automation: Manual work processes include manual manipulation of tag managers and thousands of repetitive downstream management tasks to ensure user preferences are honored across different data systems. By introducing automation into their consent governance practice, companies can increase efficiency, minimize costly errors, and reduce compliance gaps. 

  • Outdated data visibility: Out-of-date data means out-of-date compliance. With legacy tools, many companies must rely on static cookie scans as their source of truth for consent management. This process leaves companies with consent preferences that are inconsistently applied and frequently out-of-date. In contrast, companies using next-gen solutions benefit from a complete view of all user consent and tracking technology activity across their enterprise. 

As regulator scrutiny increases in this space, it’s critical that organizations find privacy partners that improve visibility, minimize manual tasks, and provide complete, real-time data visibility.

A new way forward for data governance

Despite the headlines and complexity, the issues surrounding non-compliant tracking technology can be easily avoided when using a tool like Transcend Consent. Today’s most innovative companies are transforming their privacy and tracking technology compliance, realizing several benefits: 

  • Increased compliance: With Transcend Consent, companies can detect all tracking technologies across all their digital properties. Real-time detection and management ensures user consent flows across data systems as instructed—no matter the pace of new marketing initiatives or the digital properties across the enterprise.

  • Reduced operational costs: By removing manual processes and minimizing the need for support from engineering and marketing, data governance teams can remove resource drains on other departments and dramatically reduce operational costs. 

  • Unlocked cleaner data value: With deeper automation, increased visibility, and a real-time understanding of user consent and preferences, companies can achieve better data hygiene. This cleaner data can be used to better launch and scale new products, close complex enterprise business agreements, and enter new markets with increased confidence. 

According to a recent IDC report, Ryan O’Leary, Research Director for IDC's Security and Trust program and author of the new IDC MarketScape report states, "Unlike many competitors, Transcend understands the importance that regulators put on processing consent and managing consent eliminates a chunk of risk. Automating and removing manual processes from consent management is a feather in Transcend’s cap.”

Reach out to Transcend to learn more about our consent management solutions.

About Transcend Consent

Transcend Consent is the most efficient way to collect, sync, and enforce user consent and preferences across all touchpoints and backend systems—for defensible compliance, improved user experiences, and unconstrained growth. No painful tag manager configuration, no site slowdowns, no siloed consent data—just lightweight consent collection and powerful enforcement across your entire tech stack.

Transcend Consent helps brands, publishers, and developers comply with the latest privacy regulations, including the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA).

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