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New Privacy Frameworks - What To Do

Adapting to privacy shifts: Exploring how the evolving landscape of user privacy impacts geolocation data usage and your data.

Written By - Kelby Bosshardt

May 2024

Thumb print and lock to represent privacy

Due to ongoing shifts in user privacy frameworks and geolocation data, (we’re looking at you, Apple and Google!) it’s time for our industry to adapt. As we all know, more user control over data sharing impacts data availability and consistency - so let’s recognize the new limitations while continuing to focus on what geolocation still does better than anything else. 

There are a few best practices that DMOs can employ this year to make sure that they’re getting the most out of their geolocation data, in light of the privacy changes: 

  • Focus on large footprint areas: Geolocation data’s reliability depends on having a sufficient sample size - and the new privacy restrictions means that there may not be enough data available in smaller footprints to be able to consider the data reliable and valid. (The smaller a point of interest is, the less likely it is to have enough data available to be suitable for analysis.) This means that geolocation data is not a people counter, nor is it likely going to be relevant for, say, an individual shop or restaurant. 

  • Strategic KPIs: Focus on KPIs like origination markets, length of stay, and seasonality and relative performance. These KPIs are still an area of great strength for geolocation data, and are also critical to DMO strategy and accountability. 

  • Layer in additional data sets: Layering in additional data sets like spending, airport, or lodging data will create a more well-rounded view of the destination and create multiple reference points. Doing so will create more comprehensive and accurate insights, and give you even more confidence in your data. 

  • Updated modeling and analysis tools: Data vendors need to be working with updated modeling and analysis tools that are reflective of the new ways that users are approaching geolocation data. Make sure that your vendor isn’t being left behind!

At the end of the day, smartphone geolocation data still boasts over 150 million active monthly users, so let’s not make the error of discounting its significance or applicability to the tourism industry. As long as these adjustments are made, it can and should still be considered a central pillar of your digital marketing strategy - we know that it’s going to remain one of ours! 


Kelby Bosshardt
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