The New Standard in UGC Consumer Data Protection and Compliance

By Damien Mahoney - October 16, 2019
3 mins read time
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Lately, not a day goes by without consumer data protection and privacy being discussed in the media — and with good reason. As consumers’ use of technology continues to grow, so do their digital footprints, and there is a lot of valid confusion and concern over how that personal data is used by companies.

Recent studies have found that 55 percent of people don’t know how brands are using their data and 65 percent don’t even know which brands are using their data. It’s this lack of consumer data transparency and control — as well as some high-profile data breaches — that have spurred the introduction of an ever-growing number of data protection regulations around the world.

GDPR, the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation mandate, and CCPA, the California Consumer Protection Act set to go into effect in January 2020, both grant consumers more rights over how their personal information is collected and used by companies — and there are similar laws being proposed and passed across at least nine other U.S. states. Here at Stackla, we’ve always worked to comply well in advance with these mandates and have embraced these regulations as opportunities to strengthen brands’ relationships with consumers.

For social media networks and the myriad third-party apps they integrate with, this has become particularly important. Billions of people share personal content — photos, videos, opinions, etc. — on social networks every day. Most do this with the intention of connecting with the people, organizations and/or brands they seek to have personal interactions with; interactions where there should be an expectation of trust. Yet, 71 percent of U.S. consumers alone worry about how brands collect and use their personal data.

It’s these growing concerns that leading social media platforms are now taking serious steps to address. Following the Cambridge Analytica scandal and subsequent settlement with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), Facebook stated they would have a “…fundamental shift in the way we approach our work, and will place additional responsibility on people building our products at every level of the company. It will mark a sharper turn toward privacy, on a different scale than anything we’ve done in the past.”

The most compliant UGC platform on the market

As huge proponents of data protection as well as social networks’ ability to connect people with each other and their favorite brands, Stackla wholeheartedly supports Facebook’s efforts to take a stronger stance on data privacy and security.

Our product team has worked closely with Facebook over the past couple of weeks, and we firmly believe that Stackla is the most compliant UGC platform on the market. 

We’d like to take this opportunity to be transparent on the ways we safeguard consumer data and are leading the UGC industry on data protection and privacy.

Public Content ONLY

Stackla is a visual content marketing platform, helping consumer brands discover the best photos and videos people have posted about them on social networks and giving them the tools to obtain permission from content creators to use these authentic assets throughout their marketing activities.

We work with all of the large social networks — including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube and more — from which we collect public content only, never private content. We do not archive data, nor do we build profiles of users. We’ve worked diligently on all our integration points with social networks throughout our history to ensure that our platform never violates generally accepted privacy practices and to comply with the terms of service for each social network.

Robust Rights Management Tools 

When one of our customers finds a piece of public content they like, we provide them with the most robust set of Rights Management tools available to make a direct request to that content creator to gain permission to use that content in their own marketing activity.

Paramount to our workflows is the protection of consumers, and that is why we take these extra steps to safeguard them. We seek to help brands acknowledge content-creators’ efforts, while at the same time ensuring consumers have provided the brand with the necessary permissions to use their content.

Direct Upload

To help brands bypass third-party social networks and directly aggregate content from their customers, Stackla offers brands a direct upload form, which we call GoConnect. Using this fully customizable form, brands can directly invite customers to share photo, video, text and audio files with them while simultaneously allowing them to clearly display their terms and conditions while also obtaining legal rights to utilize those assets.

Stackla’s vision is to enable authentic communication and build trust between the world’s top brands and their consumers. Protecting consumer privacy and personally identifiable information is a key value proposition that we bring to our customers and is critical to building that trusted relationship.

Authenticity and transparency have always been and continue to be at the heart of our story as we lead the UGC industry into a new era of greater trust, protection and compliance.

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