Brand Safety Week and The State of Privacy

By Cuebiq Marketing Team / 4 minutes

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It goes without saying that location data is a powerful tool in effective brand marketing—but the role of location data in the future of digital advertising is uncertain. New technologies and laws around data privacy have reshaped consumer expectations about how brands should use location data in digital advertising campaigns. And while brands understand the importance of using location data responsibly, it’s challenging to keep up with evolving privacy standards. That’s why the NAI, or Network Advertising Initiative, hosted a Privacy Meetup with various industry leaders to discuss the use of precise location data in the future of digital advertising at Brand Safety Week in New York City.

Experts from Google, The Trade Desk, IAB, MediaPost, and our very own EVP of Privacy, Gerald Smith, discussed how companies can safely use location data in brand campaigns to reach geographically relevant audiences. After hours of insightful conversation, the key takeaway from these panels gives brands a clear direction for how to prepare for the future of location data in digital advertising. But before we get there, it’s important to understand some context around the NAI.


The NAI is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting the health of online ecosystems by maintaining and enforcing high standards for data collection and use in online and mobile advertising. The NAI has been a champion of privacy protection and established The Enhanced Standards for Precise Location Information Solution Providers, which prohibit the collection, use, and transfer of precise location data from sensitive places, such as those tied to religious worship, sensitive healthcare services, military bases, and LGBTQ+ identity. They also restrict companies from using, selling, or sharing, in the absence of a legally-binding request, precise location data for law enforcement or national security purposes. 

These standards have set limitations on the use of data about sensitive locations and put consumer privacy first without cues from legislation, meaning all companies that abide by the standards are doing so voluntarily – which enables the crucial and continued role of location data in brand marketing.

“For location data to continue playing a pivotal role across industries, it is vital not only to adopt, but advocate for standards that put consumer privacy first,” said Gerald Smith. “We firmly believe that the NAI Enhanced Standards is the path forward for location data and are proud to be leaders supporting this initiative.”

Key Takeaway: Know Your Partners

The key takeaway from the conference was to take accountability in your partnerships. 

This year brought the industry some of its most pressing privacy-related challenges and opportunities, and it’s never been more critical for advertisers and agencies to work with location data partners that share a focus on data integrity and consumer privacy. Lots of companies claim to be “privacy-safe”, but don’t actually commit the necessary resources toward research and development. And the reality is that brands and partners without robust privacy protections won’t have the same longevity as those who weave privacy enhancing technologies into the fabric of their business.

The Road Ahead

What can you do to prepare for the future? Ask what companies are doing with sensitive locations. 

“Cuebiq is a leader in using location data responsibly for advertising, as demonstrated by their commitment to abide by our industry-leading enhanced standards for precise location data,” said Leigh Freund, President and CEO of the NAI. “They’re showing companies can leverage actionable mobility insights without undermining consumer privacy.”


Cuebiq was among the first to voluntarily commit to the Precise Location Information Solution Provider Voluntary Enhanced Standards. We’ve also published our Sensitive Points of Interest Policy, which states that any location deemed legally or culturally sensitive will not be used for targeting or attribution. We’ve been investing in privacy enhancing technologies for years–in fact, they’ve been fundamental to our business from its inception through every product update. 

For brands to continue leveraging location data in digital advertising, they need to bring consumer privacy to the forefront of their business proactively — not only because it’s the right thing to do — but because it’s what must be done to compete in the rapidly evolving market of tomorrow.

To learn more about Cuebiq’s commitment to privacy, visit our Privacy Center.

About the Author

Cuebiq Marketing Team

The Cuebiq Marketing team is a group of data-driven marketers with a focus on strategy and a flair for the creative! Our team is broken down into Growth and Product Marketing departments, and we work on everything from running the Cuebiq website, to developing thought leadership content, to sales enablement and pipeline generation.