World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (WAN-IFRA), in association with TRUSTe, has published an in-depth study, Data Privacy Report: An Issue for Our Time

This report covers privacy for publishers – the issues they face, and recommendations to tackle these issues. The in-depth report makes a clear case for why data privacy is a topic that deserves attention.

“At the most fundamental level – as has been reiterated by many industry representatives interviewed for this report – it’s about a need to self-regulate or be regulated,” according to the report.


“Publishers proving – and communicating – to consumers that data privacy is top priority may not only moderate the need for further legal controls but also earn consumers’ trust and willingness to share their private information and online behavior.”

Issues arise since publishers need to collect data from consumers (via cookies and non-cookie trackers alike) to create added value in advertising products, which is an important business asset.

At the same time, publishers must balance that business need with maintaining consumer trust by being transparent and offering consumers opt-outs.

WAN-IFRA surveyed 45 people in various roles who work in publishing to get a better idea of how those in the publishing field think about data privacy.

The results included a number of noteworthy responses:

    • When asked, “Do you consider your online brand more trustworthy than global tech, e.g. Twitter, Facebook, and Google, in terms of protecting users’ data?” 25% of respondents said “no.”
    • 81% of respondents said publishers are largely or wholly responsible for protecting consumers’ data privacy.
      • That figure is 80 percent for social networks and 76.7% for online advertisers.
    • 76.7% of respondents said individual consumers are largely or wholly responsible for their own data privacy.