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Episode 2 of The Conscious Marketing Podcast gets straight to brass tacks. We are joined by Chris Penn from BrainTrust Insights to take a deep look in the mirror to discuss the truth about data privacy and ask ourselves, “should marketers come clean?” Chris blew our minds by revealing why GDPR applies to every business in the world within the first 10 minutes and then continued to open our eyes to what is really happening with consumer data. We review the facts, the truth and then reflect on how marketers can move forward in a time when we need data the most and consumer trust in how we’ll handle it is at an all time low.

Show Notes

🎯 Did Chris hit the bullseye? Do you need a GDPR and data privacy audit? You learn more about Chris Penn here

🚀Are you loving what Geoff is laying down? You should hire him to supercharge your results. You can learn more about Geoff Livingston here

🎶 Am I striking a special chord for you today? You can hire me to speak at your next conference, corporate retreat and for transformation consulting here

🎥 Wish your show could be produced like this one? Learn more about our show producers WCR Studios here

🎼 Like the music? It was donated to the show by Sophia Fleming a conscious music artist who sings words of empowerment that inspire the soul. Buy her latest album Collections of Reflections here

📷 Like the photography? You can hire Geoff to get beyond stock photograpy here

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Segment Questions for Self-Inquiry and Reflection

We begin every episode with a set of questions that are designed to expand our thinking around the topic at hand. Sometimes we get to them. Sometimes the conversation takes us in another direction. Either way, these questions are great for your self-inquiry and reflection as you form your own opinions and perspectives.

Let’s take a look at what the public thinks they give us when they consent and compare it to what data is actually collected. Think Facebook, Google, Amazon, YouTube, Apple. What do you think they actually know?

How do you think consumers would react if they knew the full breadth of data that companies have on them? Large companies vs small companies

Do we have a responsibility to be more up-front with our prospects and customers about what data is collected, why it’s collected and how its used?

Will GDPR lay the groundwork for global accountability?

How do you think the provision for data protection officers will affect companies? If it’s required for having more than 5k records that will this impact small businesses as well?  

Who bears the responsibility for compliance and transparency? Is it a software vendor issue? Or is this a marketer issue?

When considering what marketers CAN do versus what we SHOULD do about data collection…what standards would you recommend for conscious data collection, storage and use?

Are there any lessons to learn from efforts to protect children’s data privacy with laws, specifically COPPA and its failures?

Let’s shift lenses for a moment and consider the way data is used for advertising. We segment user audiences in order to find our best customer. The data we use includes demographics like age, gender, race, marital status, income, neighborhood, religion and more. Yet, if we used this same approach to target new hires it would be illegal. Is it segregation? Is it ethical? Is it conscious?

How do you think consumers would feel if they knew how we target them?

What data is the most important for marketers to consider in targeting? What should we start phasing out?

What about experiential targeting? Is this a more conscious approach?

How will AI come into play in targeting and disclosure?

Doc. Searls wrote a book called The Intention Economy. In summary, it discusses an economy where consumers send up signals for what they want to buy in a way that companies can see their intention and respond with offers, etc. Can we move to an intention economy? How would that look?

How do you see marketing data changing over the next 5 years? 10 years?

Is it on us a society to teach consumers digital literacy in the United States? Or on us as marketers?

Is regulation self provided or government just a band-aid that will never fix the problem of consumer data privacy issues because by our very nature we are a capitalist country?

Segment Research

Facebook and Cambridge Analytica

Cambridge Analytica purchased Facebook data from Cambridge academic Aleksander Kogan and his company digital life. This data included Facebook user profile information for approximately 300k quiz takers and their friends (estimated in the millions).

Aleksander Kogan followed Facebook’s data collection rules in how the data was collected. Aleksander Kogan broke the data collection rules when he sold it.



“The GDPR codifies and unifies the data privacy laws across all the EU member countries and is applicable to any citizen of the European Union and, most importantly, for any company doing business with a citizen of the EU.”

What are key provisions of the GDPR?


The GDPR specifically prohibits the use of long, convoluted terms and condition statements,

Breach notification

notify all data subjects that a security breach has occurred within 72 hours of first discovering it

Right to access

Companies must also be able to provide, free of charge, a copy of the personal data being processed in an electronic format.

Right to be forgotten

Under the GDPR, companies will erase all personal data when asked to do so by the data subject.

Data portability

The GDPR requires companies to provide mechanisms for a data subject to receive any previously provided personal data in a commonly used and machine-readable format.

Privacy by Design

Companies will process only the data absolutely necessary for the completion of its business and limit access to personal data to only those employees needing the information to complete the process consented to by the data subject.

Data Protection Officers

A Data Privacy Officer is required for any enterprise with over 250 employees or for any enterprise processing the personal data of over 5,000 data subjects in any 12-month period.

Penalties for noncompliance with the GDPR

The maximum assessable penalty for noncompliance with the GDPR is 4% of the annual global revenue generated by the company.


Kids and data protection

What is COPPA:

Love what Geoff is laying down?

You should hire him. Geoff is currently accepting new clients for fundraising, campaigns and photography services.

Is Nichole striking a chord?

You should hire her! Nichole is currently accepting new clients who are interested in consulting, training and speaking.

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