Denny Hatch is the author of six books on marketing and four novels, and is a direct marketing writer, designer and consultant. His latest book is “Write Everything Right!” Visit him at

GDPR takes up a lot of bandwidth in marketers’ minds right now — and justifiably so, as at least 1,838 data privacy complaints are already on the books in the E.U. But news yesterday that the E.U. fined Google $5 billion for allegedly violating antitrust laws in mobile searches shows marketers have more to pay attention to in the data privacy and anti-trust back-and-forth between the E.U. and U.S. tech companies.

The U.S. data privacy revolution began with the recently approved California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018 (CCPA), which impacts the data privacy rights of California residents starting in 2020. The CCPA offers a concrete beginning to data privacy rights that U.S. consumers have longed for since the first rumblings of the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation.

The gist of the California law protecting customer data privacy looks a lot like the European Union’s enacted General Data Protection Regulation. That the effective date of the Consumer Privacy Act isn’t until January 2020 is small compensation to marketers who are concerned that state after state will enact its own version of the legislation by then.

For online retailers, few issues are as confusing and cumbersome as understanding sales tax obligations in various states. Most companies either try to find an automated solution or stick their heads in the sand and hope for the best.

Frogs, fish, dogs, spiders, hyenas, chimps and others in the animal kingdom all have an innate ability for counting. But we humans are easily fooled by numbers, especially when they’re presented in context. Learning to exploit the power of context can pay off big for marketers, but at the same time, marketers need to be careful not to be fooled themselves.

White conservative men don’t get a fair shake at Google, claims the man fired after what’s now known as his sexist memo became a public controversy in August. Yesterday, he sued his former employer for discrimination. This, a day after celebrities wore black at the Golden Globes in support of women and men who’ve been sexually harassed or abused, brings into focus brand reputations involved in the discussion about gender equality and free speech.

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