Editor’s note: Dan Frechtling is CEO of advertising services firm Boltive, Seattle. 

The advertising industry is in an unprecedented predicament: trillions of ad auctions are happening every day as industry regulations governing these transactions are increasing exponentially. How can brands keep up with the changes?  

Due to the complexity of the situation, there’s no easy answer. But there are things you can do to protect your consumers’ privacy and your business. With the exit of third-party cookies and other regulatory shifts, making sure people don’t see ads is as important as making sure they do. The consequences of violating consent regulations are potentially serious, not only financially, but also for a brand's reputation.

GDPR, for example, levies hefty fines: penalties for data mishandling in Q3 of 2021 reached $1B. In California, under CCPA, businesses have 30 days to fix compliance before issuing fines. California will introduce stricter rules in 2023 alongside laws from other states.   

There is also potential for lost revenue. Violations are a bad look; misusing customers’ data can break their trust. They can also force you to shut down certain business operations or advertising accounts. Either way, your business will lose money.

A study by MIT and University College London shows that only 12% of content management platforms (CMPs) meet the legal minimum requirement for data compliance. Below are four ways to improve your processes.  

GDPR requires advertisers to acquire explicit consent – a “yes” or “no” answer – to process, store and share consumers' online behavioral data for personalized ads. This includes retargeting and prospecting ads. The current solution being used by advertisers and publishers is a pop-up asking for this permission: if they accept, you have explicit permission. Unfortunately, getting that permission may not be enough. The answer the user c...