Privacy in the digital space - key factors you should know

A Q&A with Ryan Sullivan from Bench

What are the key factors we need to know about privacy in the digital space right now?

Privacy and the impacts on digital media continue to be front and centre in Clients’ minds. The Media Planning Agency discussed the basics with Ryan Sullivan from Bench – the start of a series aimed at dispelling some of the myths around digital and programmatic.


Q: What are the key factors we need to know about privacy in the digital space right now?

Ryan: “It’s safe to say that marketers have been riding an ever-changing privacy wave over the last couple of years, a wave that has been driven by declining consumer sentiment towards the ad industry itself. Events such as the Cambridge Analytica scandal alerted consumers to the nefarious ways their data was being collected and used without their knowledge or consent. In the wake of this, both consumers and governments demanded more transparency in how consumer data was collected, used and shared across the web. Policies such as GDPR, CCPA (California Consumer Privacy Act) as well as many similar privacy codes were brought into effect around the world. The changes we’re now seeing as marketers are the industry’s response to the global pressure.”

Q: So let’s talk about the first changes from Apple that caused major concerns 

Ryan: “Apple’s iOS 14.5 release heralded a new privacy policy (the App Tracking Transparency framework), forcing all apps to ask the users’ permission upfront whether they wanted to be tracked across the web for personalised ad purposes. As you can imagine, roughly 80% of consumers have said no to this. With Apple accounting for 55.8% of all mobile users in Australia, this has a pretty significant impact on ad revenue, mainly felt by platforms such as Snapchat, Youtube, Twitter and Meta. With an estimated $9.8billion in lost ad revenue forecasted, Facebook launched scathing attacks on Apple’s decision, positioning itself as “fighting for small businesses everywhere.” If we pretend Facebook’s shareholders are small businesses, then sure.”

Q: And then Google wanted to get involved?

Ryan: “In June 2020, Google announced that they would deprecate all 3rd party cookies from their Chrome browser by 2022, which has since been delayed to 2023. This is the bigger of the two announcements, in my opinion. What this means for the consumer is that when they visit any website, no 3rd party organisation will be able to capture or track their data for any purpose elsewhere across the web. This was Google’s response to privacy concerns and brought Chrome into line with other browsers such as Firefox and Safari. Considering that around 80% of advertisers use 3rd party cookies in their digital advertising mix, this announcement sent the industry reeling. However, Google quickly realised that things are easier said than done, and ever since the announcement, they have been plagued with problems. Their first solution (FLoC) was quickly mothballed due to privacy concerns. Their second (Topics) has received a reasonably frosty industry response with fears of further monopolisation and issues with transparency.”


Read the full article which appeared on MPA blog in May, 2022.


1200 600 Bench Media
Shai Luft - Bench Media

Chief Operating Officer

Shai Luft

Meet Shai Luft, a senior marketing executive with a proven track record of delivering results for Australia’s largest ASX200-listed companies. Despite his success, Shai was frustrated by the amount of red tape and bureaucracy that held back marketing innovation. That’s why he co-founded Bench in 2012. As the driving force behind Bench’s operations, Shai is committed to empower marketers with the agility and control they need to achieve their best results.

Ori Gold - Bench Media

Chief Executive Officer

Ori Gold

Meet Ori Gold, an ad tech and martech expert. Driven by the frustration of everyday marketers facing a lack of control and accessibility, Ori co-founded Bench in 2012 to revolutionise the digital advertising landscape. Heading the talented and forward-thinking team at Bench, Ori is the driving force behind the company’s strategic and product vision. Thanks to Ori’s leadership, Bench has become one of the most respected and successful digital agencies in Australia.

General Manager

Liam Garratt

Meet Liam Garratt, the creative mind behind Bench’s top-notch products and services. With a career in digital media spanning over a decade, Liam has made a name for himself as a leader in the industry. He got his start in 2011 working for UK-based programmatic platform Crimtan, where he played a key role in launching the company’s Australian office. In 2017, Liam brought his expertise to Bench, where he now leads the Product & Services functions. Liam is passionate about delivering only the highest quality products and services to Bench’s clients. His commitment to excellence is the foundation of Bench’s stellar reputation.

VP of Growth

Anthony Fargeot

Meet Anthony Fargeot, the pioneer behind Bench’s growth and success. Joining Bench in its infancy in 2013, Anthony’s experience with high-growth start-ups gave him the skills to help Bench become one of the most successful digital agencies in Australia. As Head of Client Services and then Director of Operations, Anthony led Bench through its highest growth period. Today, as VP of Growth, Anthony uses his creative thinking and strategic insights to always look for new and innovative ways to help Bench stay ahead of the curve in a rapidly changing digital landscape.