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Forbes chooses Ketch for future-proof data privacy compliance

When Forbes needed a new software solution to support data privacy program goals, they turned to Ketch for superior tech and a shared vision.
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Forbes champions success by celebrating those who have made it, and those who aspire to make it. Forbes convenes and curates the most influential leaders and entrepreneurs who are driving change, transforming business and making a significant impact on the world. The Forbes brand today reaches more than 140 million people worldwide through its trusted journalism, signature LIVE and Forbes Virtual events, custom marketing programs and 46 licensed local editions in 78 countries. Forbes Media’s brand extensions include real estate, education and financial license agreements.

Challenge: finding data privacy software to meet customized requirements

For media companies, living by responsible data practices is part of delivering a trustworthy experience to readers. The Forbes brand is no exception. With a reach of 140 million people worldwide, Forbes’ audience includes many countries, jurisdictions, and cultures. 

With such a diverse audience, Forbes cannot approach data privacy as a “one size fits all” challenge. When the Forbes Data Privacy team began looking for a new software platform to support data privacy program goals, they had high expectations. A new data privacy software partner needed to fill the shoes of their previous legacy tech provider, and more: 

  • Global regulatory compliance: In today’s fragmented, shifting data privacy landscape, laws and regulations around the world are changing fast. Forbes wanted to leverage software to help automate compliance with various laws and regulations. 
  • Customized experiences: After years with a legacy tech provider, Forbes had many custom-built processes around customer consent and request collection. For example, they had specific requirements for data subject request intake forms. A new software platform would have to match these expectations for customization. 
  • Co-innovation: Beyond matching current expectations, Forbes wanted a future-proof partnership to set the stage for innovation. Things like engineering collaboration and roadmap alignment were critical factors. 

When Forbes privacy stakeholders met the Ketch team and experienced the technology, they recognized key signs of a shared vision and alignment between the teams. 

“We were dreaming of a product that was smart enough to leverage the technologies we use on the Data Engineering team to seamlessly execute the repeatable components of routine privacy requests. When we saw Ketch in action and how their team was thinking about their offering, we knew they were on the same page as us,” says Kelsey Reinhardt, Director of Data Engineering.

Solution: collaborative deployment with forward-leaning product and engineering teams

Forbes embraced the Ketch Data Permissioning Platform, purchasing the following Ketch products:

  • Consent management to collect consumer privacy choices across jurisdictions, and enforce those choices across Forbes data applications and systems
  • DSR automation to automate the process of receiving and fulfilling data subject requests (DSRs) for access or deletion of their data 
  • Data discovery and classification to find and categorize locations of personal data across the Forbes data ecosystem

The Ketch and Forbes teams got to work on the consent management platform (CMP) deployment. Immediately, an opportunity for collaboration and customization arose: Forbes was excited about the Ketch infrastructure and policy templates, but had already put a lot of work into their own customized logic for identifying consumer locations and jurisdictions. The teams worked together to create a seamless process for consent collection and enforcement:

  • Forbes used Ketch policy templates to create rules for various data privacy laws, including those in the European Economic Area, UK, and various U.S. jurisdictions. (Ketch provides templates for every major data privacy law, with flexibility to customize according to specific business requirements.)
  • Forbes leveraged their own custom logic to identify consumer jurisdictions and serve the correct privacy experience to every visitor. 

The Ketch platform flexibility and adaptability to Forbes’ custom processes enabled a seamless transition from legacy tech to Ketch. 

This collaboration extended to the DSR (data subject rights) automation deployment. Forbes had high expectations for customizing the data subject rights intake form, with specific requirements for various checkboxes, text fields, drop-downs, and dynamic fields. Forbes took the lead with knowledge transfer, educating the Ketch team and providing a long list of requirements and enhancements required to deploy a DSR intake form to meet Forbes expectations. 

In turn, Ketch conducted feedback and education sessions with the Forbes team, capturing all necessary details about Forbes use cases. Ketch product and engineering leadership were directly involved to ensure all needs were prioritized in product roadmap cycles. 

“Ketch’s product and engineering teams have been great partners, always willing to accept feedback and work with us to enhance features and customizations that align with providing the Forbes consumer an intuitive consent and DSR experience.” 
 Forbes Privacy Team

Result: customized deployment, Ketch platform enhancements, and plans for growth

Today, Forbes consumers experience a jurisdiction-aware privacy notice matching their privacy rights, powered by Ketch policy templates and Forbes logic. When visitors wish to request access or deletion of their personal data, they fill out a customized DSR intake form, enabling seamless, automated fulfillment by the Forbes team. 

Now, Forbes is looking ahead to the next phase of deployment: launching Ketch data discovery and classification to enhance these DSR workflows. With Ketch, Forbes will be able to use machine learning to immediately pinpoint new data sources that should be included in DSR fulfillment processes as they are added. Forbes will also continue to roll out consent and preference management as Forbes expands into additional Forbes properties. 

The Ketch and Forbes partnership goes beyond a typical software implementation. It’s a collaboration, with both teams actively engaging to shape a customized data privacy experience for Forbes visitors.

Read time
5 min read
January 11, 2024
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