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The UK's data privacy regulating body got busy this week issuing the two biggest fines to date under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). 

First, on July 8, the British Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) posted a notice of its intent to fine British Airways $205.7 million for GDPR infringements. According to ICO officials, the 2018 incident in part involved user traffic to the British Airways website being diverted to a fraudulent site, where cyber attackers harvested the personal data of approximately 500,000 customers.

The next day, the ICO issued a notice of its intention to fine Marriott International $111.5 million for GDPR infringements relating to a 2018 cyber incident in which a variety of personal data contained an approximately 339 million guest records globally were exposed. Around 30 million records related to residents of 31 countries in the European Economic Area (EEA) and seven million related to UK residents. 

According to the ICO, the vulnerability began when the systems of the Starwood hotels group were compromised in 2014. Marriott acquired Starwood in 2016, but the exposure of customer information was not discovered until 2018. Marriott failed to undertake "sufficient due diligence" when it bought Starwood — it should have done more to secure its systems, according to the ICO.

The GDPR is the European-Union data protection regulation that went into effect in May, 2018.

In other customer experience software news ...

Forrester Names Digital Experience Platform Leaders

Forrester this week published its Forrester Wave: Digital Experience Platforms, Q3, 2019 (paywall), its first such wave since 2017. The leaders quadrant marked the most significant change from the previous report. In 2017, Forrester named Oracle the sole leader. This time, Oracle is joined by Salesforce, Adobe and SAP. Oracle got the nod for the strongest current offering, and Salesforce led in strategy.

Forrester defines a DXP platform as one that "provides the architectural foundation for flexible, agnostic core services to maximize scale, quality and insights across channels and systems while delivering context-specific tooling for practitioners to build, manage and optimize digital journeys on 'owned' channels (web, mobile, messaging) and orchestrate third-party experiences (e.g., social, retail marketplaces)."

Gartner Names Personalization Engine Leaders

Gartner has published its latest Magic Quadrant for Personalization Engines (paywall). In it, the analyst firm named Evergage, Dynamic Yield, Monetate, Certona, Emarsys, Adobe and RichRelevance its leaders. 

Gartner defines personalization engines as "software that applies context about individual users to select, tailor and deliver messaging such as content, offers and other interactions through digital channels in support of three use cases: marketing, digital commerce and customer experience."

NewsCred Nets $20M

NewsCred, an enterprise content marketing platform provider, has announced a round of $20 million in financing. Company officials said they'll use the cash for R&D innovation, global expansion and support for its Integrated Marketing Edition of its platform. The investment was led by InterWest Partners, with new participation from partner Dentsu Inc. as well as Escalate Capital Partners. NewsCred's total invested capital is now more than $100 million.

Zeta Global Partners With PlaceIQ

Zeta Global, a marketing technology company, has announced it has entered into a partnership with PlaceIQ. The Zeta Data Cloud will now be integrated with location audiences, measurement and analytics from PlaceIQ

LinkedIn Updates Campaign Manager 

LinkedIn has announced three new objectives — brand awareness, website conversions and job applicants — the latest additions to its redesigned Campaign Manager. The new offerings are designed to help users better align with their campaign objectives. 

Contentful Unveils Headless CMS Ecommerce Solution 

Contentful, an enterprise headless CMS provider, has launched an agile ecommerce solution. Contentful’s content infrastructure solution for ecommerce is designed to help retailers update content on all digital platforms at once and deploy that content at scale. 

Cheetah Digital Acquires Wayin

Cheetah Digital has acquired Wayin, a data collection and activation provider. Wayin's software is designed to help marketers create experiences that engage audiences and collect first- and zero-party data across the customer lifecycle. Experiences can be launched across owned, earned and paid channels. It results in a customer engagement solution to acquire customer data and unify it in a single customer view, according to company officials.

TapClicks Acquires iSpionage

TapClicks, which provides marketing intelligence, analytics, reporting, workflow and orders management, has announced it has acquired iSpionage, a developer of SaaS-based competitive intelligence solutions for advertising, search marketing and SEO. TapClicks has recently acquired StatX, Raven Tools and several other marketing analytics and reporting, SEO and digital reputation management solutions. iSpionage's intelligence and research offerings include capabilities for tracking, analyzing and reporting on SEM performance, SEO ranking and advertising content, landing pages and messaging. 

Coveo Acquires Tooso 

Coveo, an AI-powered business solutions company, announced the acquisition of Tooso, an AI-based digital commerce engines company. Tooso’s AI capabilities will enhance Coveo AI, according to company officials. It adds more precise and granular understanding of ecommerce shoppers’ intents.

Rightpoint Acquires Bowfin

Rightpoint, a customer experience agency, announced its acquisition of Bowfin. The acquisition will expand its Salesforce experience. Bowfin has been a Rightpoint partner for nearly five years. All of Bowfin’s employees will join Rightpoint’s existing Salesforce team, expanding its team of Salesforce certified administrators.