Data protection issues are becoming increasingly important in communications

Data protection issues are becoming increasingly important in communications

Author: Tanja Irion

When we asked communications executives in the CommTech WG at the start of the initiative about the biggest hurdles they face when implementing tech tools, data protection ranked right at the top. WG 8, led by Tanja Irion and Kay Nungesser, has meanwhile looked into this in depth and gained some interesting insights.

Not surprisingly, as technology support on the stakeholder journey increases, more personal data is processed, making data protection more relevant. At the beginning of the year, we launched a survey among CommTech members on the subject of data protection. Here is the result:

– Most CommTech participants report average data protection skills.
– Press distribution lists and media monitoring are standard. Analytics, editorial and customer management systems widely used. Few are already using AI and personalization management.
– In most companies, data protection enjoys a high priority. A few “top of the class” even exceed the legal requirements.
– Exchange with marketing: so fifty-fifty.
– Most maintain a good to very good relationship with their data protection officers.
– With regard to the presumed automation potentials, a wide range emerges. This starts with technical simplifications, continues with intelligent file and deletion management, and ends with the desired acceleration of analysis and response tools, which should deliver results in real time if possible. As expected, all playout channels are to be used in-house, B2B and B2C (see graphic).
– Best/Worst practice. The overall picture is rather negative. After “Schrems II”, the third-country transfer emerges as a central challenge that unsettles many. Lack of time is complained about several times.


Despite some inconsistencies, a clear tendency emerges. With the increasing digitization in the communications sector, data protection is also becoming more of a focus for communicators.

Data protection issues are becoming increasingly important in communications

Where do we go from here?

  • Communications professionals want a guide to help them navigate the data protection jungle. The idea is now to sketch a framework in collaboration, which can then be gradually filled with details. After that, we can start looking for innovative, new visualization. After all, drab lead deserts are also a problem in the data protection sector.
  • The correct handling of address databases and distribution lists seems to be a common problem. This is something we are concerned about.

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