Identifying a Legitimate Interest
Recital 47 of the GDPR states that “The processing of personal data for direct marketing purposes may be regarded as carried out for a legitimate interest.” The focus of Acxiom’s business is direct marketing; what we do is help other businesses make their consumer marketing more relevant than random.
The Necessity Test
There is no alternative way to achieve the above objective without conducting our processing activities which are central to our business and the value we add to consumer marketing that could not be achieved as effectively without them.
The Balancing Test
Acxiom has a weighty legitimate interest to use permissioned and ethically sourced self-volunteered and publicly available information in its marketing products as they form a core part of Acxiom’s business. We believe that the pursuit of Acxiom’s legitimate business interest is also in the interests of the “wider community” as it allows its data to be more accurate and to receive less random and therefore more relevant marketing; it also stimulates competition as companies are better equipped to compete which enables lower prices which is good for the individual; we also contribute to social media and other platforms remaining free by helping them be subsidised by marketing revenue which enables freedom of speech.
That said, Acxiom puts in place considerable privacy enhancing measures (such as not working with special categories of data and putting in place downstream restrictions about what marketing uses its products can be used for) to ensure its use of data minimises any prejudicial impact on individuals and that the legitimate interests’ balancing test is satisfied.